In the dead of winter it is indeed a treat to see the vibrant tones of Hamamelis flowers dancing on unique zigzagging branches. Bright yellow, orange or red spidery flowers have a spicy fragrance that is enough to warm you from nose to toes!

Witch Hazels develop nice green leaves where the crinkles of the veins look as though someone folded them perfectly across an axis. Autumn may really be the beginning of the season for Hamamelis however, because their leaves turn brilliant shades of yellow, orange, red or purple before falling to reveal their unique architectural structure.

Hamamelis x intermedia 'Diane'
Hamamemlis x intermedia 'Diane'

Hamamemlis x intermedia

This is a large group of Witchhazels created by breeding Hamamelis mollis with Hamamelis japonica. All varieties grow 12-15' tall and often wider. Sun-part shade, Zone 5.

Common varieties of Hamamelis x intermedia include:

  • ‘Arnold Promise’ yellow flowers with fall colors yellow, orange and red. 'Arnold Promise' has a more upright vase shape where other types have a graceful open habit.
  • ‘Diane’ - dark red flowers with fall colors reds to purple.
  • ‘Jelena’ - pronounced Helena - usually the first to open - coppery orange flowers with orange, red to scarlet fall color.
Hamamelis x intermedia 'Orange Beauty' & 'Sunburst'
Hamamelis x intermedia 'Orange Beauty' & 'Sunburst'
  • ‘Orange Beauty’ Coppery orange flowers with orange, red to scarlet fall color.
  • ‘Primavera’ Light yellow flowers with yellow orange fall color.
  • ‘Sunburst’ Radiant yellow flowers with yellow fall color.
Hamamelis mollis 'Westerstede
Hamamelis mollis 'Westerstede'

Hamamelis mollis: Chinese Witchhazel

Sweetly fragrant rich gold flowers with reddish brown sepals bloom on bare branches in January-February. Excellent for winter arrangements. Green leaves turn pure gold before falling in autumn.

Hamamelis mollis 'Pallida'

Hamamelis mollis ‘Pallida’ is the variety most likely to be found in garden centers. Vase shape large shrub. Grows 10-15', sun-part shade, Z5

Hamamelis virginiana Commom Witchhazel

Hamamelis virginiana: Common Witchhazel

Small fragrant golden yellow flowers appear in autumn. Their flowers sometimes get lost in yellow to orange fall color. Grows slowly to 10-15’ tall and wide sometimes to 25’ tall. Open spreading habit and slow growth. This is the source of medicinal witch hazel.