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Beni mansaku, red mansaku or witchhazel is popular for ikebana flower arrangements. The red leaves in autumn are especially beautiful and are actually more popular than maple for flower arrangements.

Maruba-mansaku is another indigenous form of witchhazel found from Hokkaido to Honshu island on the Japan sea coast.

American witchhazel is very popular here and I am guessing it’s because yellow is a traditional colour that is popular with Japanese and considered less loud than red.


There is a hammelis japonica is a yellow form too that is native to China, naturalized in Japan.

Shina-mansaku is Chinese witchhazel or hammelis molis originating from China but seen in gardens here a lot.

Below is an article about Shina-mansaku by Linda Inoki

And the dead leaves lie huddled and still, No longer blown hither and thither; The last long aster is gone, The flowers of the witch hazel wither. The heart is still aching to seek, But the feet question: Whither?
From the poem “Reluctance,” by American poet Robert Frost (1874-1963)

The spidery flowers of Chinese witch hazel (Hamamelis mollis) have many fans in the gardening world. These shrubs flower on bare stems, and in a mature specimen the mass of golden-yellow blooms can light up a winter garden. In common with many winter-flowering plants, Chinese witch hazel sends out a sweet fragrance, and a few twigs brought into the house will help dispel the winter blues. In addition, the leaves turn gold and russet in autumn. There are only a few species of witch hazel, and these are native to the temperate regions of China, Japan and North America. For centuries people have used the bark to make a soothing lotion for the skin and eyes, and witch hazel is still an important ingredient in some cosmetics. The unusual English name is probably not connected to the world of spells and broomsticks, but comes from the old Saxon word wych, meaning “drooping,” since the shrubs droop slightly when compared to the British hazel tree. In Japanese, Shina is an old term for China, and mansaku roughly translates as “makes a million.” This derives from an old belief that a good show of the flowers in winter indicates a good rice harvest to come.

The Japan Times
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