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.
All Common Names:
Tree or Plant Type:
- Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
- Mixed border,
- Compact tree (10-15 feet),
- Large shrub (more than 8 feet)
- Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily),
- Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
- Zone 5 (Chicago),
- Zone 6,
- Zone 7,
- Zone 8,
- Zone 9
- Acid soil,
- Moist, well-drained soil
Season of Interest:
- Late winter,
- Early spring,
- Early fall,
- Mid fall
Flower Color & Fragrance:
Shape or Form:
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
Powdery 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.