Hamamelis mollis is a species of witch-hazel native to central and eastern China, in Anhui, Guangxi, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangxi, Sichuan, and Zhejiang.
It is a deciduous large shrub or small tree growing to 8 m tall. The leaves are oval, 8-15 cm long and 6-10 cm broad, oblique at the base, acute or rounded at the apex, with a wavy-toothed or shallowly lobed margin, and a short petiole 6-10 mm long; they are dark green and thinly hairy above, and grey beneath with dense grey hairs.
The flowers are yellow, with four ribbon-shaped petals 15 mm long and four short stamens, and grow in clusters; flowering is in late winter to early spring. The fruit is a hard woody capsule 12 mm long, which splits explosively at the apex at maturity one year after pollination, ejecting the two shiny black seeds from the parent plant.
It is widely grown as an ornamental plant, valued for the strongly scented flowers. Numerous cultivars have been selected, for variation in flower colour and size, and in shrub size and habit.
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