Hamamelis mollis / Hamamelis x intermedia

Yellow hamamelis flowers
  • Common name: Witchhazel
  • Type: Deciduous shrub
  • Height and spread: Up to 2.5 m in 5 years
  • Soil: Well-drained to moisture retentive soil
  • Aspect: Sun or light shade
  • Hardiness: Fully hardy 
  • Care: Easy

A deciduous shrub grown for its autumn colour and fragrant winter flowers.

Want to find it at Reveley?  Then look at each end of the woodland walk.

Hamamelis is another shrub that is grown for its winter interest.  From late winter to early spring you will probably smell it before you see it.  It’s quirky spidery flowers which, depending on variety, will be either red, orange or yellow give off a gorgeous fragrance.  In leaf, the Hamamelis has broadly ovate or rounded leaves.

Hamamelis is a medium sized spreading shrub or small tree which can take up to 50 years to reach its full height of 5 m. 

The Hamamelis at Reveley have been established for some time, which is why we haven’t committed to a positive ID – we will be able to determine whether Reveley’s plants are ‘mollis’ or ‘x intermedia’ when they come into leaf.

In the past twigs from Hamamelis have been used in water divining.  It is the bark and leaves from the North American witch-hazel  Hamamelis virginiana, which are used in herbalism and skin care products.

Underplanting with early spring bulbs such as snowdrops (Galanthus) and winter aconites (Eranthis hyemalis) makes an attractive late winter and early spring display.  Or position at the back of a flower border, where the shrub will provide a backdrop to summer flowering plants.

Hamamelis is an easy shrub to care for, it is generally trouble free, it can be pruned in spring after flowering has finished.