Hamamelis × intermedia 'Strawberries and Cream'

Common Name: witch hazel 
Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Hamamelidaceae
Zone: 5 to 8
Height: 9.00 to 11.00 feet
Spread: 9.00 to 11.00 feet
Bloom Time: February to March
Bloom Description: Yellow with red at base
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 × intermedia hybrids are crosses between Japanese witch hazel (H. japonica) and Chinese witch hazel (H. mollis). They are somewhat coarse, loosely-branched, medium to large, deciduous shrubs that typically grow 12-20’ tall. They are particularly noted for their spidery, often fragrant, mid- to late winter flowers which appear before the spring foliage emerges.

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).

The hybrid name intermedia is in reference to the hybrid characteristics being intermediate between the characteristics of the two parent species.

‘Strawberries and Cream' typically matures as a spreading shrub to 9-11' tall and as wide. Showy, mildly fragrant, bicolor flowers (pale yellow/soft red) in axillary clusters bloom along the bare stems in mid- to late winter (February-March in St. Louis). Each flower has four, narrow, ribbon-like, curled and crinkled petals (each to 3/4" long) that are yellow at the tip transitioning to red at the base. Calyx cup is purple. Rounded leaves (to 4 1/2” long) emerge with bronze tones in spring, but quickly mature to medium green before finally changing to a quality yellow in fall. Fruit is a dehiscent capsule.


Caterpillars and Japanese beetles may chew on the leaves. Watch for gall aphids, weevils, scale, leafroller and leafminer. Potential diseases include powdery mildew, occasional leaf spots and rots.


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