Corylopsis spicata

spike winterhazel

  • © Richard W. Hartlage / Great Plant Picks

Outstanding Qualities

winterhazels are pleasing year 'round - but pure delight in late winter! Toward the end of February, the bare branches of spike winterhazel hang with inch-long clusters of bright yellow flowers that glow like little lanterns. Peeking out from the pendant blossoms are red anthers. As the flowers fade in April, the pretty leaves unfurl to 4 inches long, dark green above and blue-green beneath. Autumn color is straw yellow. The twigs of this species are not as thin as others, so perhaps not as delicate in appearance, but its branches have an attractive zig-zag habit and its flowers are sweetly scented. winterhazels look wonderful with any early spring perennials - snowdrops, hellebores or cyclamen. For a rich contrast, underplant them with a winter-flowering heath, such as Erica x darleyensis 'Kramer's Rote'. Like Corylopsis glabrescens, spike winterhazel is native to the woodlands of Japan, where it is fairly rare.

Quick Facts

Plant Type: shrub

Foliage Type: deciduous

Plant Height: 4 ft. 0 in. (1.22 meters)

Plant Width/Spread: 6 ft. 0 in. (1.83 meters)

Plant Height-Mature: 0 ft. 0 in. (0.00 meters)

Plant Width-Mature: 0 ft. 0 in. (0.00 meters)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 6 to 9

Flower Color: yellow

Sun/Light Exposure: light to dappled shade

Water Requirements: occasional watering

Seasonal Interest: charming late winter flowers

Wildlife Associations: bees, hummingbirds

Colors & Combos

Great Color Contrasts: orange, purple, lavender

Great Color Partners: yellow, gold, dark green

Culture Notes
Plant winterhazels in a spot with light, open, or dappled shade with rich well-drained soil and water occasionally during dry weather. It will tolerate full sun if hot spots are avoided and it is provided with regular watering in the summer. It has a naturally graceful habit and needs little pruning.
Geek Notes
Native to Japan.