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HAMAMELIS japonica 'Rubra'

Image of Hamamelis japonica 'Rubra'

Mark A. Miller

Family

Hamamelidaceae

Botanical Name

HAMAMELIS japonica 'Rubra'

Plant Common Name

Japanese Witchhazel, Rubra Japanese Witchhazel

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

The red-flowering Japanese witchhazel's bare, architecturally interesting branches become a party of color and mild fragrance in late winter with tiny, multicolored, spidery blossoms. Known botanically as cultivar 'Rubra', it was originally raised at the Chenault Nursery in Orleans, France, prior to 1915. 'Rubra' has been extensively used as the parent to develop modern red-flowering witchhazel hybrids.

Japanese witchhazel is naturally found in Japan and is a wide-spreading deciduous shrub. It's vase-shaped when young and becomes wider and quite twiggy with age. It boasts smooth, dark gray-brown bark and glossy, broadly oval, mid-green leaves. In autumn, they turn yellow with blushes of orange and red. The bare branches in late winter display delicate tufts of very thin, crinkly yellow petals that like look like tiny, short ribbons. The four petals are red at their bases, where they attach to a purplish-red cup. Overall, the flower effect resembles a muddy yellow-red bicolor.

Grow the red-flowering Japanese witchhazel in well-draining soils, ideally acidic or neutral in pH, but it will perform nicely in mildly alkaline soils that are moist, fertile and deep. All soils should have an ample organic matter composition. The interesting form of the wide-reaching branches makes this an excellent specimen plant for a large landscape, such as a park or university campus. In can be grown in the mixed border or as a foundation plant only if there is space.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    9 - 5

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    5 - 9

  • Sunset Zone

    2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 15, 16, 17

  • Plant Type

    Shrub

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    8'-10' / 2.4m - 3.0m

  • Width

    9'-10' / 2.7m - 3.0m

  • Bloom Time

    Winter, Late Winter

  • Native To

    Japan

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Spreading

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Yellow, Dark Red

  • Flower Color Modifier

    Bicolor

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Yellow, Orange Red

  • Foliage Color (Fall) Modifier

    Spotted/Mottled

  • Bark Color

    Sandy Brown, Chocolate

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Coarse

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Feature Plant, Foundation, Mixed Border

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No