Etymology: "mollis" because of very hirsute leaves. Its name " Winter bloom " alludes to winter blossoming. Origin: China (H. mollis ), Japan (H. japonica). Another species, neighbouring in behaviour, is the Witch hazel of Virginia, H. virginiana, coming, as suggests its name from North America (from the Quebec to Texas). Habitat: at origin, woods and stuck in 1300-2500m. Both Witch hazels are very well acclimated to our climates. They appreciate a humid soil, rich in humus, sour and therefore devoid of limestone. They like sunny position. Too much shade harms blossoming. Hardiness: zone 7 (it supports cold until -17 °C or 1 °F). Height: shrub (<4 m tall). The Witch hazel of Virginia is somewhat higher (6 m tall). Rate of Growth: slow. Shape: strongly flare.
Bark: smooth and grayish.
Deciduous foliage. Asymmetrical, broad leaf, of 10-12 cm long, heart-shaped base, margin sometimes toothed, very short petiole. Hirsute underside. It comes in beautiful colors of golden yellow to purple in fall. Blossoming in October, for H. virginiana, at the time when its leaves are bedecked with autumnal colours or in winter (January-February) for H.japonica and H. mollis. Flowers clustered, with four petals fine elongated, yellow gold, as inn the Persian Ironwood. The flowers exude a subtle fragrance that is often amplified by the fresh air. Fruits: brown capsules, dehiscent ("that open by themselves"), developing slowly over a period of twelve months. The fruit is seen at the same time as the new flowers. At maturity, fruits throw seeds at more than 6 metres such as popcorn! Use: decorative garden shrub. The Indian diviners used the branches of H. virginiana to make baguettes. from the bark of this shrub, is extracted an astringent and disinfecting esence. Advices of maintenance:
No pruning is requested, because flowers form on the old wood and throughout stems. Bring in spring some humus of dead leaves. Water with the soluble manure at the end of summer (formulate rosebushes), to help in the training of buds with flowers. Reproduction is made by seedling or grafting. The grafted young plants flourish from the second year.
Photo taken in October
There are many cultivars that are distinguished by the color of their flowers:
Hamamelis x intermedia 'Aphrodite', fragrant flowers orange-colored,
Hamamelis x intermedia 'Arnold Promise', yellow flowers and fragrant
Hamamelis x intermedia 'Gold Barmstedt', fragrant yellow flowers, red center,
Hamamelis x intermedia 'Carmine Red', red flowers slightly fragrant
Hamamelis x intermedia 'Diane' and 'Diana', flower rust in winter, likes rich soil for peaty soil,
Hamamelis x intermedia 'Feuerzauber'
Hamamelis x intermedia 'Harry', fragrant yellow flowers,
Hamamelis x intermedia 'Jelani' or 'Jelena', yellow-orange flowers,
Hamamelis x intermedia 'Livia'
Hamamelis x intermedia 'Orange Beauty' orange flowers well scented,
Hamamelis x intermedia 'Orange Pell', orange fragrant flowers ,
Hamamelis x intermedia 'pallida', fragrant yellow flowers, forpeaty soil,
Hamamelis x intermedia 'Primavera'
Hamamelis x intermedia 'Rubin', fragrant red flowers
Hamamelis x intermedia 'Ruby Glow', orange-red flowers in winter, rich soils,
Hamamelis x intermedia 'genetics spider' flowers bright orange and red
Hamamelis x intermedia 'Strawberries and cream',
Hamamelis x intermedia 'Twilight', fragrant red flowers,
Hamamelis x intermedia 'Vesna', orange-yellow flowers around February-March,
Hamamelis x intermedia 'Yamina', fragrant flowers red
Hamamelis japonica 'Pendula'
Hamamelis japonica 'Zuccariniana'
Hamamelis mollis, yellow flowers in early, forpeaty soil,
Hamamelis mollis 'Brevipetala'
Hamamelis mollis 'pallida', fragrant yellow flowers in early,
Hamamelis vernalis 'Sandra'