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TREES & plants

Hybrid witch-hazels

A number of hybrids have been bred between Chinese witch-hazel (Hamamelis mollis) and Japanese witch-hazel (Hamamelis japonica). These large shrubs have interesting ribbon-like flowers, usually in shades of yellow to red, in late winter or very early spring before the leaves appear.

This plant has some cultivated varieties. Go to list of cultivars.

 

Botanical name: 
Hamamelis x intermedia
All Common Names: 
witch-hazel, witch hazel, hybrid witch hazel, hybrid witch-hazel
Family (English): 
witch-hazel
Family (Botanic): 
Hamamelidaceae
Tree or Plant Type: 
  • Shrub
Native Locale: 
  • Non-native
Landscape Uses: 
  • Specimen
  • Massing
  • Mixed border
Size Range: 
  • Compact tree (10-15 feet)
  • Large shrub (more than 8 feet)
Light Exposure: 
  • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)
  • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
Hardiness Zones: 
  • Zone 5
  • Zone 6
  • Zone 7
  • Zone 8
  • Zone 9
Soil Preference: 
  • Acid soil
  • Moist, well-drained soil
Foliage: 
  • Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
Season of Interest: 
  • Late winter
  • Early spring
  • Early fall
  • Mid fall
Flower Color & Fragrance: 
  • Fragrant
  • Orange
  • Red
  • Yellow
Shape or Form: 
  • Spreading
  • Upright
Growth Rate: 
  • Moderate
More Information: 

Size and Form

Height varies by cultivar, typically 12 to 15 feet high; usually with a spreading form.

Tree & Plant Care

Full sun to part shade in moist, well-drained organic soils.
Root suckers may need to be removed to control size.
Often root grafted on common witch-hazel (Hamamelis virginiana
Prune after flowering.

Disease, pests and problems

Powderly mildew and Japanese beetles

Disease, pest, and problem resistance

Resistant to black walnut toxicity.

Native geographic location and habitat

Hybrids between Japanese and Chinese species of witch-hazel.

Bark color and texture 

Bark is gray and relatively smooth.

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture

Simple, alternate leaves; ovoid shape with widely toothed margins; 3 to 6 inches long.
Leaves are gray-green in summer.  Fall color is yellow, orange and sometimes red, depending on cultivar.
Some cultivars retain leaves long into winter months.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size

Flowers may be yellow, red or orange (copper); with 4 strap-like petals.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions

Fruit is a dry capsule.

Cultivars and their differences 

Arnold Promise (Hamamelis x intermedia 'Arnold Promise'): Fragrant lemon-yellow flowers with a red calyx; yellow-orange-red fall color; height and spread 12 to 15 feet; tends to be vase-shaped; flowers a little later than other cultivars.

Diane  (Hamamelis x intermedia 'Diane'): Wide-spreading; height 8 to 12 feet, spread 10 to 15 feet; copper-red, slightly fragrant flowers; dark green summer leaves; yellow-orange-red fall color.

Jelena (Hamamelis x intermedia 'Copper Beauty'): Beautiful coppery-orange, 1-inch long twisted petals; fall color is a kaliedoscope of orange, red and yellow; 12 to 15 feet high and wide spreading.

Ruby Glow (Hamamelis x intermedia 'Ruby Glow'): a large 15 feet high and wide shrub with vase-shaped habit; flowers are copper-red, kinked and twisted; fall color is red and orange.