Jelena is a vase-shaped, winter-blooming shrub that grows slowly to a height of around 12 feet. The red-orange flowers are often said to be non-fragrant, but I’ve occasionally caught a mild whiff of perfume. None of the x intermedia hybrids are as fragrant as the native species, but they do have good ornamental value. The odd ribbony flowers stand out in the stark landscape of early to mid-winter, and the fall color is outstanding. One characteristic I don’t particularly care for is that many of the dead leaves are retained until well after the blooms start opening. My shrubs are still fairly small, so I usually just pull them off, allowing the flowers to shine.
Scientific name: Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Jelena’, syn. ‘Copper Beauty’
Common names: Jelena witch hazel
Native Range: Hybrid found at Arboretum Kalmthout in Belgium by Robert DeBelder (whose wife was named Jelena). Parents are the Chinese species, H. mollis, and the Japan