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HAMAMELIS x intermedia

Image of Hamamelis x intermedia

Maureen Gilmer



Botanical Name

HAMAMELIS x intermedia

Plant Common Name

Showy Witchhazel

General Description

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

Witchhazel has dull dark green leaves that are broadly oval with wavy edges and short tips. The new leaves are glossier on top and paler and slightly fuzzy beneath. In autumn they turn shades of yellow or gold, with occasional deep orange or red tones. The bark is smooth and gray-brown, but the smaller twigs, from which the flowers arise, are lighter in color. In late winter and early spring, golden-yellow, bronze-orange or deep red flowers appear. These have four long, thin and crinkly petals. They are boldly fragrant, both sweet and spicy, and may last for a month.

Plant hybrid 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.

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.

Many outstanding cultivars have been developed, and most are grafted onto the rootstocks of hardier and more vigorous American witchhazels (H. vernalis or H. virginiana). So, suckering stems that arise from below the graft union should be pruned off. Excellent yellow-flowered selections include ‘Arnold Promise’, ‘Advent’, ‘Allgold’ and ‘Moonlight.’ Some super orange and red-flowered cultivars include ‘Jelena’, ‘Ruby Glow’ and ‘Diane.’


  • AHS Heat Zone

    8 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    5 - 8

  • Sunset Zone

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

  • Plant Type


  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    10'-20' / 3.0m - 6.1m

  • Width

    12'-20' / 3.7m - 6.1m

  • Bloom Time

    Early Spring, Winter, Late Winter

  • Native To

    Hybrid Origin

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam

  • Growth Rate


  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit


  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest


  • Flower Color

    Yellow, Orange, Light Yellow, Dark Red, Bronze

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Blue Green, Gray Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Yellow, Orange, Gold, Dark Red, Orange Red

  • Bark Color

    Sandy Brown, Gray

  • Fragrant Flowers


  • Fragrant Fruit


  • Fragrant Foliage


  • Bark or Stem Fragrant


  • Flower Petal Number


  • Repeat Bloomer


  • Showy Fruit


  • Edible Fruit


  • Showy Foliage


  • Foliage Texture


  • Foliage Sheen


  • Evergreen


  • Showy Bark


Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture


  • Usage

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

  • Sharp or Has Thorns


  • Invasive


  • Self-Sowing