Hamamelis 'Fire Blaze'
Common Name: witch hazel 
Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Hamamelidaceae
Zone: 5 to 8
Height: 8.00 to 10.00 feet
Spread: 9.00 to 12.00 feet
Bloom Time: February to March
Bloom Description: Copper orange
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, Air Pollution


Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Best flowering is in full sun. Prefers moist, acidic, organically rich soils. Consistent moisture is best (leaf scorch may occur during periods of summer drought). Shrubs have some tolerance for clay soils as long as drainage is good. Promptly remove root suckers to prevent colonial spread. It is particularly important to remove root suckers rising from below a graft union. Prune in spring after flowering to control shape and size.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Hamamelis is a genus of 5 to 6 species of deciduous shrubs from East Asia and North America. They are grow for their very early late winter through early spring bloom (H. virginiana flowers in autumn.) Plant them where you can enjoy their very early flowers and showy, yellow fall color.

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).

'Fire Blaze' is considered to be a hybrid cross between Hamamelis x intermedia (H. japonica x H. mollis) and Hamamelis vernalis. It typically grows as a vase-shaped shrub to 8-10' tall and to 9-12' wide. It is noted for its spidery, often fragrant, late winter flowers which appear before the spring foliage emerges. Showy copper-orange flowers with a spicy aroma bloom in axillary clusters along the bare stems in mid- to late winter (February-March in St. Louis). Each flower has four, narrow, ribbon-like, slightly crinkled petals (each to 3/5" long) which are red at the base transitioning to yellow-orange at the tip. Calyx cup is red. Ovate-rounded leaves (to 4" long) emerge yellow-green in spring, mature to medium green and finally change to yellow in fall. Fruit is a dehiscent capsule.


Caterpillars and Japanese beetles may chew on the leaves. Watch for gall aphids, scale, leafroller and leafminer. Potential diseases include powdery mildew, occasional leaf spots and rots. Insect and disease issues are typically not serious and rarely warrant chemical control.


Excellent winter-flowering shrub for the landscape. Shrub borders, woodland gardens. Screen or tall hedge. Good specimen.