Chinese Witch Hazel ‘Firedance’ Has Spectacular ‘Fireworks-Like’ Flowers

Chinese Witch Hazel ‘Firedance’ Has Spectacular ‘Fireworks-Like’ Flowers

Chinense Witch Hazel

Photo Compliments Of Leonora Enking

Loropetalum chinense var. rubrum ‘Fire Dance’, purple-leaved Chinese fringeflower, or more commonly called Chinese Witch Hazel ‘Firedance’  is a spectacular plant for all seasons. It forms a bushy mound of evergreen purple foliage; this handsome shrub produces pink, witch hazel-like flowers from late winter to mid-spring. These have a sweet scent and offer a pretty contrast to the colorful foliage. Originating from woodlands in China, Japan and Burma, they will benefit from a partially shaded spot with protection from the worst of the winter weather.

This winter hardy evergreen will also work well in a pot on your patio, or in any border. The leaves are alternate, ovate leaves, leathery, rough on their upper surface, and paler underneath. The cultivar ‘Fire Dance’ produces new foliage which red maturing though red purple to dark green with a hint of red. This large shrub has an upright to arching habit.

How To Make Your Chinese Witch Hazel Thrive

Fertile, moist, well-drained soil is preferred. Partial shade is best for good growth, though full sun and shade are tolerated. It is not tolerant of prolonged temperatures well below freezing and in the colder part of the hardiness range some winter protection is absolutely necessary to prevent damage. Very little pruning is required; each year after flowering remove any dead or damaged growth. Loropetalum is susceptible to microelement deficiencies particularly in alkaline soils which can slow growth and cause plants to decline.

Garden Uses

Use Chinese Witch Hazel ‘Firedance’ as a screen, in boarders, as a foundation planting, and in naturalistic, or woodland gardens.

Quick Facts

  • Plant Type: Broadleaf evergreen shrub
  • Foliage: Oval to rounded
  • Flower Petal Number: Single
  • Repeat Bloomer: Yes
  • Fragrant Flowers: Yes
  • Flower Interest: Showy
  • Flower Color: Pink
  • Foliage Color (Spring): Red, rose
  • Foliage Color (Summer): Red, purple, dark green
  • Foliage Color (Fall): Dark green, dark red
  • Foliage Color (Winter): Orange, dark green, burgundy, bronze, bark color, red, copper, brown
  • Fragrant Flowers: Yes
  • Hardiness Zones: Zones 7 to 10
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun, partial sun, partial shade
  • Height: 4 to 6 foot at maturity
  • Width: 4 to 6 foot at maturity
  • Bloom Time: Early spring, late winter
  • Growing Conditions: Soil pH should be acidic to neutral
  • Soil Drainage: Average
  • Soil Type: Loam, sand
  • Growth Rate: Fast
  • Water Requirements: Drought tolerant, average water habit

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Google Photos – Chinese Witch Hazel ‘Firedance’

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  1. Haven’t run across that little number in the garden or the web. Zone 6A would be pushing it but I see why you’d enjoy yours so much. Nice new look, Charlie.

  2. Is this the one that is pulped down and use as a liquid for a variety of ailments? Or is that a different form of Witch Hazel
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  3. That is a beautiful plant! Thanks for sharing, Charlie.

  4. This sounds like a wonderful shrub to have in the garden – and I wouldn’t mind a vase of those flowers in winter time either! Not a plant that I’ve come across before – thanks for sharing! – and I’m now wondering why its Latin name is Loropetalum unlike the more usual witch hazel Hamamelis. I guess we’ll never know!

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