2002 Theodore Klein Plant Award Winner
by Winston C. Dunwell
Hamamelis x intermedia - Witchhazel intermediate hybrids of H. japonica x H. mollis
Hamamelis x intermedia hybrids are spectacular winter-flowering deciduous large shrubs or small trees that can grow to 20 feet tall. Witchhazel blooms have excellent fragrance and cut flowering stems can be a pleasant addition to the winter home environment. Most are done blooming in late Spring, the time of greatest activity in the garden center. This has lead to 'Arnold Promise', a relatively late flowering cultivar, dominating the market. 'Arnold Promise', a yellow flowering cultivar (Fig.), will bloom to provide a show to improve sales in March and April. There are many other great cultivars, that can add to the January-March landscape, a time when a bright spot in the garden is greatly appreciated. Flower color varies from chartreuse through yellow to bright orange and red. Several have good red and yellow fall foliage. When Dr. Paul Cappiello (Director, Yew Dell Gardens) was Bernheim Arboretum's Horticulture Director he collected numerous cultivars that are grouped together for public viewing and evaluation. Maintaining a collection at the garden center for a winter weekend event maybe a way to attract customers to buy witchhazels, tools, fertilizers, etc., in the off-season. This plant is a favorite with Europeans, they frequently host public events to celebrate and display witchhazels, and one of the most famous collections is in Kalmthout Arboretum, near Antwerp, which is located in Flanders, the northern part of Belgium, close to the border with The Netherlands.
Interesting Cultivars include: 'Diane', 'James Wells', 'Moonlight', 'Carmine Red', 'Jelena', and 'Primavera'.