Common Witch-Hazel

Hamamelis virginiana

Witch Hazel: Full Tree - Click for larger image

Leaves
Twigs & Fruiting Structures
Bark
Distribution and Uses

Leaves

  • Broadly elliptical with pointed or rounded tip; 7½-13cm (3-5”) in length

  • Deeply wavy edges with uneven bases

  • Hairy when young; usually hairless but rarely hairy when mature

  • Dull green from above; paler below

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Witch Hazel: Leaves - Click for larger image
Witch Hazel: Fruit - Click for larger image

Twigs & Fruiting Structures

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Bark

  • Light brown; smooth with some rough parts

Distribution & Uses

  • Prefers moist soils of hardwood forests

  • Distribution includes Ontario and Nova Scotia and most of eastern United States

  • Leaves, twigs, bark produce extract used in astringent lotions

  • A myth suggests that branches were used as “witching rods” to detect underground water

  • Seeds, buds, and twigs eaten animals such as whitetail deer, cottontail rabbits, and bobwhite

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Witch Hazel: Bark - Click for larger image