Japanese witch hazel in summer

Native to mountainous areas of Japan, this deciduous shrub or small tree is a member of the witch hazel family, Hamamelidaceae, that also includes loropetalum, fothergill, and winter hazel. The plant grows 10-15 ‘ tall and wide and has a rounded, spreading habit. The  ovate to obovate leaves are up to 4″ long, have wavy margins, and are medium to dark green before turning yellow in the fall. Yellow flowers appear in globose heads before the leaves emerge in late winter to early spring for about 4 weeks. They are slightly fragrant and have 4 narrow strap-shaped, crinkled petals about 2/3″ long. H. japonica together with H. mollis is a parent of H. x intermedia cultivars. Japanese witch hazel is a good choice for mixed or shrub border, or specimen as well as woodland, fragrance and winter gardens. 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 specific epithet, japonica, refers to the location where the plant is native. Photo Credit Wikipedia

Flowers of Japanese witch hazel

Type: Flowering deciduous shrub or small tree

Outstanding Feature: Winter flowers

Form: Rounded, spreading

Growth Rate: Moderate

Bloom: Globose heads of slightly fragrant yellow flowers with 4 crinkled petals in late winter to early spring

Size: 10-15′ H x 10-15′ W

Light: Full sun to partial shade; best flowering in full sun

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

Hardiness: Zones 5-8

Care: Prune immediately after flowering if needed to maintain shape or size; remove suckers as they appear to control spread.

Pests and Diseases: Generally healthy but may suffer from insect galls, Japanese beetles, leaf rollers, scale, leaf spot, powdery mildew, Phyllosticta blight and rots

Propagation: Cuttings in late summer, grafting, seed

Outstanding Selections:

‘Sulphurea’ (pale yellow petals)

var. arborea (deep yellow petals; plant tends to be upright)

var. flavopurpurascens (flowers with pronounced red base)

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

By Karen