Witch Hazel ‘Jelena’

Hamamelis × intermedia 'Jelena'

Witch hazel (Hamamelis × intermedia 'Jelena'), is a hybrid cross between Japanese (H. japonica) and Chinese (H. mollis) witch hazels. It is an upright cultivar that can reach 8 feet in height. The witch hazel’s winter-bright flowers have crinkly, ribbon-like petals with a spicy scent. Reddish at the base, bloom color fades to orange at the flower’s center and yellow at its tips. Leaves are broad ovals up to six inches long with gorgeous orange-red fall color. Jelena grows well with medium moisture in full sun to part shade but flowers best in full sun.


There are two American native witch hazels. Ozark witch hazel (H. vernalis), is native to southern Missouri and surrounding areas. It grows to six feet with blooms ranging in color from pale yellow to dark reddish purple. Common witch hazel (H. virginiana) is a deciduous shrub or small tree native to eastern North America. It typically grows 15 to 20 feet but can reach 30 feet in its native habitat. Clusters of fragrant bright yellow flowers appear along the branches from October to December, sometimes even before the shrub loses its leaves.


Jelena witch hazel can be found growing in Mizzou Botanic Garden in the Rothwell Garden on the east side of the geology building.

Hamamelis x Intermediate 'Jelena' (AKA Witch Hazel 'Jelena'


Story and photos by Jan Wiese-Fales.