Monday, January 23, 2012

Blooming Today: Jelena Witch Hazel

Last spring we added four witch hazels to our garden, Hamamelis x intermedia 'Jelena'.  I had only seen pictures of these but loved the unusual flower form, the great color of the blooms, and the intense hues of the autumn leaves.  I crossed my fingers that the ones we got were correctly labeled;  you know how it is with tags sometimes.

early fall, Hamamelis 'Jelena'

Just a few days ago, I  told Karin at Southern Meadows (also in zone 7b) that I had no witch hazel blooms yet, but yesterday I walked out to look again and found that two of the shrubs do have a few blooms!

The brown leaves of last season still cling to the shrubs, so I didn't notice flowers at first. Do you know if it is characteristic of this plant to retain the dead leaves?  I hope not;  it's ugly.  I didn't notice a scent, either.  Has fragrance been sacrificed for bigger flowers (ie. hybrid tea roses)?  Maybe 'Jelena' releases scent at particular times or in certain weather.  If you know, please leave a comment.  I do hope it is fragrant.

Even without fragrance, the blooms are nice.  My artistic son took a glance at my photos and decided they look like crayon shavings.  Crinkly, waxy --  I can see it, can't you?


UPDATE February 2, 2012:  Jelena IS fragrant!  It doesn't seem to float through the air like winter honeysuckle, but up close it's nice.


  1. They are such fun blooms! They look like party streamers to me but I see the crayon shavings too! I don't know if they are fragrant but I do love their color! Thanks for the shot out! Are you getting as much rain as we are? My rain gauges are full!

  2. Hi Daricia, I think it is common for witch hazels to hold on to their leaves well into winter...sorry.
    I believe Jelena is fragrant...I know some are more fragrant than others. I need to check mine and see if those buds have opened. And yes, I agree with your son, shaved bits of crayons. :-)

  3. lots of rain, karen, yes!

    thanks for the info, janet. i need to look at the native witch hazels and see if i can squeeze one of those in somewhere.

  4. Our witch hazel is Arnold's Promise. Every February he fulfills his promise. What a treat to the eyes and nose; yellow blossoms and a wonderful fragrance. Brightens up our February every year.

  5. 'Arnold Promise'is a great shrub! i would have planted that one instead of 'Jelena' except that i already have so much late winter/early spring yellow in my garden. maybe i should have gone with it after all! i'm glad yours is such a good performer for you.