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HAMAMELIS x intermedia 'Aphrodite'

Image of Hamamelis x intermedia 'Aphrodite'

Mark A. Miller

Family

Hamamelidaceae

Botanical Name

HAMAMELIS x intermedia 'Aphrodite'

Plant Common Name

Aphrodite Witchhazel, Showy Witchhazel

Special Notice

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

General Description

A unique, warm brown-orange flower color is produced by the Aphrodite witchhazel in late winter. This hybrid grew from seed harvested from a cross between cultivars 'Vesna' and 'Pallida'. The first 'Aphrodite' seedling was raised by J.H.M. van Heijningen in Breda, The Netherlands and released in 1985. It received a three-star rating at the 2002 Flora Nova Show in Boskoop, Holland.

This winter-blooming hybrid shrub is certainly among the most widely celebrated modern selections. In the waning days of winter its branches become dotted with fragrant, colorful, spidery flowers. The broad, vase-shaped shrub blends and amplifies the great ornamental characteristics of its two parents, Chinese witchhazel (Hamamelis mollis) and Japanese witchhazel (H. japonica).

The Aphrodite witchhazel has dull green leaves that are broadly oval with wavy edges and short tips. The new leaves are pale yellow-green. Leaf undersides are lighter in color and are fuzzy. In autumn there is little to no foliage coloration. The bark is smooth and gray-brown, but the smaller twigs, from which the flowers arise, are lighter in color. In late winter to very early spring, lots of burnt-orange flowers appear. These have four long, thin and crinkly petals that are orange-red, held in a red-purple cup. The blooms are very faintly fragrant, and may last for a month.

Plant witchhazel in full to partial sun and organic-rich, acid or neutral soil with even moisture and good drainage. Simply put: the more sun, the grander the flower show. Its growth is considerably slower in drier soils and hot locations. 'Aphrodite' is vigorous in growth and develops a handsome, spreading habit with nice lateral branching.

This shrub is a wonderful specimen plant for open landscapes, foundations, mixed borders or public landscapes – from parks and campuses to commercial courtyard and entrance gardens. It looks especially lovely when low groundcovers and early spring bulbs blanket the soil under the branches. 'Aphrodite' may exhibit a tendency to bloom poorly after an unusually hot, dry summer season.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    8 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    5 - 8

  • Sunset Zone

    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

    12'-13' / 3.7m - 4.0m

  • Bloom Time

    Early Spring, Late Winter

  • Native To

    Hybrid Origin

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Spreading

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Orange

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Yellow Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green

  • Bark Color

    Sandy Brown, Gray

  • 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

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Coarse

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Feature Plant, Foundation, Mixed Border, Topiary / Bonsai / Espalier

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No