Hamamelis japonica 'Pendula'
Common Name: witch hazel
Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Hamamelidaceae
Zone: 5 to 8
Height: 6.00 to 8.00 feet
Spread: 3.00 to 6.00 feet
Bloom Time: January to March
Bloom Description: Light yellow with dark red inner cup
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Hedge
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Leaf: Good Fall
Other: Winter Interest
Tolerate: Deer, Erosion, Clay Soil

Culture

Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Best flowering in full sun. Prefers moist, acidic organically rich soils. Some tolerance for clay soils. Promptly remove any suckers that may occur to prevent colonial spread. Prune in spring after flowering to control shape and size.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Hamamelis japonica, commonly called Japanese witch hazel, is an upright, open, medium to large, suckering, deciduous shrub that typically grows to 10-15' tall with a rounded, spreading shape. It is native to mountainous areas of Japan. It is particularly noted for its mildly fragrant pale yellow winter flowers, attractive medium to dark green summer foliage (broad ovate to obovate leaves to 4" long) and yellow/red/purple fall color. Flowers typically bloom for up to 4 weeks during the period of February-March. Each flower has four narrow strap-shaped petals that are crinkled.

H. japonica is very similar in appearance to H. virginica. H. japonica and H. mollis are the parents of the popular H. x intermedia cultivars.

Genus name comes from the Greek words hama meaning at same time and melon meaning apple or fruit in reference to the occurrence of both fruit and flowers at the same time on this shrub (particularly in the case of fall flowering members of the genus).

Specific epithet means of Japan.

'Pendula' has a stiffly weeping habit and is profusely covered with slightly scented, light yellow flowers in late winter to early spring. Its leaves turn shades of orange and red in fall. 'Pendula' grows 6 to 8 ft. tall and 3 to 6 ft. wide.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Occasional insect galls (small wasps) appear on the foliage. Japanese beetles may chew on the leaves in some areas. Watch for leaf roller and scale. Potential disease problems include leaf spot, powdery mildew and rots.

Garden Uses

Shrub borders, woodland gardens or backgrounds. Screen or tall hedge. Good as a specimen or in groups.