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Hybrid witch-hazels

Hybrid witch-hazel cultivar Arnold Promise.

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):


Family (Botanic):


Tree or Plant Type:

  • Shrub

Native Locale:

  • Non-native

Landscape Uses:

  • Massing,
  • Mixed border,
  • Specimen

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 (Chicago),
  • Zone 6,
  • Zone 7,
  • Zone 8,
  • Zone 9

Soil Preference:

  • Acid soil,
  • Moist, well-drained soil


  • Clay soil

Seasons of Interest:

  • late winter,
  • early spring,
  • early fall,
  • mid fall

Flower Color & Fragrance:

  • Fragrant,
  • Orange,
  • Red,
  • Yellow

Shape or Form:

  • Broad,
  • Multi-stemmed,
  • 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

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.


Location of Hamamelis x intermedia (Hybrid witch-hazels) at the Arboretum

We do not seem to have this in our living collection.