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Hamamelis

Hamamelidaceae
Deciduous, Shrubs

Medium-size to large shrubs, sometimes treelike, usually with spreading habit and angular or zigzag branches. Valued for bright fall foliage and nodding clusters of interesting yellow to red blooms that typically appear in winter. Flowers consist of many narrow, crumpled petals and are said to resemble shredded coconut, mop heads, or spiders.

Hamamelis japonica (photo courtesy of Denver Botanic Gardens)
Hamamelis japonica (photo courtesy of Denver Botanic Gardens)

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Hamamelis japonica

From Japan. Much like Hamamelis x intermedia, though perhaps somewhat more erect and treelike (12–20 ft. tall and broad). Small, lightly scented yellow flowers appear in late winter or earliest spring. The chief draw is fall foliage in shades of red, purple, and yellow.

Hamamelis mollis
Hamamelis mollis

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Hamamelis mollis

From China. Moderately slow-growing shrub to 8–10 ft. tall and wide, or a small tree that may reach 30 ft. Roundish, 3 1/2–6-in.-long leaves are dark green and rough above, gray and felted beneath, turning good pure yellow in fall. Sweetly fragrant, 1 1/2-in.-wide, rich golden yellow flowers with red-brown sepals bloom on bare stems in winter. Flowering branches are excellent for cutting.

Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Arnold Promise’ (photo courtesy of Bailey Nurseries, Inc.)
Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Arnold Promise’ (photo courtesy of Bailey Nurseries, Inc.)

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Hamamelis x intermedia

Group of winter-blooming hybrids between Hamamelis mollis and Hamamelis japonica. Big shrubs (12–15 ft. high and wide). Often grafted; remove any growth originating from below the graft. Flowers come in late winter or early spring; have classic, powerful, fresh witch hazel fragrance.

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