This deciduous shrub or small tree is the result of a cross between H. mollis and H. japonica and is a member of the witch hazel family, Hamamelis, that also includes fothergill and loropetalum. Numerous cultivars have been developed that vary most significantly in size and habit of the plant, size, color, and fragrance of the flowers, bloom time, and fall coloration of the leaves. The plants can grow up to 20′ tall and may be erect or spreading. They have multiple stems but are not highly branched. The leaves are 2-4″ long, roundish or broadly oval, often with wavy margins, and dark green above and pale green and hairy below. Fall coloration tends to be good with some cultivars developing red-orange leaves as well as yellow. The flowers appear in mid to late winter or early spring, before the leaves emerge, and consist of 4 long, thin, twisted strap-shaped petals that may be yellow, orange, or red depending on the cultivar. Unlike other witch hazels, fragrance may be lacking. H. x intermedia is a good choice for a a shrub border or woodland garden and some cultivars are suitable for use in fragrance or winter garden. The genus name, Hamamelis, comes from the Greek words ᾰ̔́μᾰ (háma),  meaning simultaneously, and μῆλον (mēlon) meaning fruit, and refers to the fact that the plant flowers while the previous year’s fruit ripen. The hybrid name intermedia refers to the fact that the characteristics of the hybrids are intermediate between the characteristics of the two parent species.

Type: Flowering deciduous shrub or small tree

Outstanding Feature: Flowers, fall coloration

Form: Upright or spreading; rounded

Growth Rate: Slow

Bloom: Flowers with 4 long, thin, twisted strap-shaped petals that may be yellow, orange, or red depending on the cultivar, in late winter to early spring

Size: 15-20; H x 8-10′ W

Light: Full sun to partial shade

Soil: Average, consistently moist, well-drained, acidic

Hardiness: Zones 4-9

Care: Prune after flowering if needed

Pests and Diseases: Generally healthy but susceptible to damage by caterpillars, Japanese beetles, leaf gall aphids, weevils, scale, leafroller, and leafminer, powdery mildew, occasional leaf spots, and rots.

Propagation: Grafting

Outstanding Selections:

‘Allgold’ (yellow flowers with reddish-purple calyx)

‘Aphrodite’ ( orange to copper red flowers lacking fragrance, reddish fall coloration)

‘Arnold Promise’ (bright yellow flowers with reddish base, later bloom than other cultivars, large plant)

‘Diane’ (copper-red flowers, red, yellow and orange fall coloration)

‘Girard’s Orange’ (orange, fragrant flowers; vigorous, fast growing)

‘Jelena’ (orange, fragrant flowers, good fall coloration, spreading habit)

‘Moonlight’ (yellow, fragrant flowers with dark red calyx, yellow fall coloration)

‘Primavera’ (early, yellow, very fragrant flowers with reddish base; yellow fall coloration)

‘Ruby Glow’ (dark coppery-red to red-brown flowers, no fragrance, orange-red fall coloration)

‘Sunburst’ (floriferous, intense yellow flowers)

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

By Karen