In very early spring, before the leaves unfurl, Chinese witch-hazel has fragrant, spicy-scented deep yellow flowers with a tinge of red, crinkled like confetti. The new foliage is yellowish-green, deepening to medium green over the summer and turning yellow in fall.
- Deciduous (foliage falls off)
- Zone 5
- Zone 6
- Zone 7
- Zone 8
- Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)
- Partial sun (4-6 hrs direct light daily)
- Partial shade (4-6 hrs indirect light daily)
- Clay soil
- Moist, well-drained soil
- Compact tree (10-15 feet)
- Large shrub (more than 8 feet)
- Mixed border
- Late winter
- Early spring
- Mid fall
Size and Form
10 to 15 feet high and wide; rounded form at maturity.
Tree & Plant Care
Keep well-watered as scorch can occur in hot summers.
Disease, pests and problems
No serious pests.
Scorch can be a problem in hot summers.
Leaves open early and can be damaged by spring frosts.
Disease, pest, and problem resistance
Resistant to black walnut toxicity.
Bark color and texture
Relatively smooth, gray or gray-brown.
Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture
Simple, alternate leaves; 3 to 6 inches long; nearly round with broad teeth.
Medium green in summer; fall color yellow to yellow-orange.
Flower arrangement, shape, and size
Yellow flowers with 4 strap-like petals in late winter to very early spring; very fragrant.
Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions
Dry capsule; not ornamentally important.
Brevipetala witch-hazel (Hamamelis ‘Brevipetala’) : Yellow flowers with red coloring at the base of the petals. Leaves tend to persist in winter. Upright form. This cultivar is considered a hybrid between Chinese witch-hazel (Hamamelis mollis) and vernal witch-hazel (Hamamellis vernalis).