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Hamamelis virginiana


Family Hamamelidaceae

A tea can be made from leaves, and twigs.


Growth Form: Small tree or shrub.

Leaves: Approximately 8-15cm (3-6in) long, 10-8cm (2-3in). Simple. Wide and elliptical with wavy-teeth, and broadest and waviest beyond midpoint, often with unequal base. Tip can be pointed to blunt.

Leaves (Hannah Ramer. Brandeis University)

Flowers (Photo by Hannah Ramer. Brandeis University)

Flowers: Roughly 2.5cm (1in)– with four slender and twisted yellow petals. Come into flower in late autumn or winter.

Fruits: Egg-shaped and light brown with 4 curved points at tip. Contain 1-2 black seeds. Mature in August through September.

Buds: Hairy and without scales.

Bark: Light brown. Can be smooth to rough and scaly.

Habitat and Range

Understory of hardwood forests on mesic soils, from Maine south to Northern Florida, and from Wisconsin west to Massachusetts.


The twigs should be harvested in spring. Leaves should be harvested in the summer, and can then be dried for later use.

Fruits (Hannah Ramer. Brandeis University)

Bark (Photo by Hannah Ramer)

Fun Facts

Drying fruit capsules can eject seeds as far as 9m (30ft)!

It was thought that a forked branch of Witch-hazel could be used to divine the location of underground water.


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