Pallida Chinese Witch Hazel
Hamamelis mollis 'Pallida'
Description: Few plants can lift you out of the winter doldrums as effectively as the Chinese witch hazels. Blooming in February and March, the selection known as ‘Pallida’ has beautiful and profuse sulfur-yellow flowers that are fragrant. On warm days in late winter, the petals unfold, and if it gets cold again, the petals just curl up and wait for another warm spell. This enables the plant to have a long season of bloom, before much else is out. It is particularly beautiful with an evergreen background, as the flowers emerge before the leaves, and under planted with some early spring bulbs such as snowdrops (Galanthus sp.). The lustrous green leaves remain on the plant through summer.
‘Pallida’ will grow to about 10-15’ high and equally wide. A cousin to our native witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana), it serves as a good alternative to forsythia and prefers a site in full sun or partial shade with moist, well-drained acidic soil. Hardy to Zone 5.
- Type/habit: Small tree
- Key season and features of interest: Fragrant spring flowers
- Flowering period: February – March
- Evergreen or deciduous: Deciduous
- Native? No
- Pollinator plant: Insect pollination
- Wildlife benefits: Nesting for birds
- Site/Condition tolerance: Soil erosion , clay, drought
- Sun/Shade preference: Sun to part shade
- Soil condition preference: Rich, moist, acidic soil
- Low maintenance and pest resistant
Growth Habit: Slow-growing, rounded, spreading form
Size (mature height and spread): 10-15’ tall and wide
Hardiness (USDA Zones): 5-8
Nativity: Central China
Suggested Uses: Specimen, border
Year of award: 2001