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Witch Hazel

Hamamelis virginiana

Family: Hamamelidaceae

  • native to Eastern United States and East Asia
  • generally occurs along streams or river banks
Witch Hazel
  • shrub or small tree
  • can grow in moist, clay-like soil
  • tolerant of both shady and sunny conditions
  • irregular crooked branching pattern
  • explosive seed capsules shoot seeds up to 36 feet away, often with a loud popping noise
Witch Hazel Leaf Leaves:
Flower and Fruit:
  • yellow, fringy
  • clustered in bunches along branches
  • fragrant
  • bloom late autumn to winter
  • curl up when it is cold
  • pairs or tight groups of stubby, four-parted seed pods can usually be found at any time of year
Witch Hazel Flowers
Shred the tender twigs for use as a toothbrush. This softwood burns quickly and brightly making it ideal for heat and quick cooking. However, do not depend on witch hazel branches to last until the s’mores; the wood will quickly burn out leaving only ashes rather than smoldering embers.

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