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American Witchhazel

( Hamamelis virginiana )

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American Witchhazel
Witch Hazel
Spotted Alder
Striped Alder
Winterbloom
Snapping Hazel
Hamamelidaceae
Hamamelis
Hamamelis virginiana
Linnaeus
NB, NS, ON, PE, QC
Hamamelis macrophylla
Hamamelis virginiana var. henryi
Hamamelis virginiana var. macrophylla
Hamamelis virginiana var. parvifolia
Characteristics

Shrub

Deciduous

Partial Shade, Shade

Clay, Sand, Loam

Dry, Normal, Moist

No

No

Yes

Yes
Habitat Considerations

Boreal Shield, Atlantic Maritime, Mixedwood Plains

Woodland, Savannah, Forest Edge, Riparian

Woodland
Design Considerations

300 cm

450 cm

Sep - Nov

Yellow|Orange|Green/Brown

Yes

No

Brown


Yes

Yes

Yes




Birds, Bees, Other Showy Insects

No
Conservation Status



Interesting Tidbits

Habitat Information: This plant is unique since it is the most late flowering and seeding shrub or tree in forests, with a bloom time of September to November, blooms lasting often after the last leaf drops. Plant has a unique form of seed dispersal. When ripe the seeds pods break open and seeds are sent flying 30 to 40 feet. (Evergreen) Garden Uses: The yellow flowers have very crinkled, thin petals, very unique in gardens. Twisting form is nice in modern or Japanese inspired gardens. (Evergreen) Insect Relationships: Many species of flies, wasps, some species of plant bugs, moths, beetles, bees. For specific species, see Illinois Wildflowers (Illinois Wildflowers) Traditional Edible, Medicinal Uses: The aromatic extract of leaves, twigs, and bark is used in mildly astringent lotions and toilet water. Commercial witch hazel, an astringent liniment, is an alcohol extract of witch- hazel bark. Witch hazel oil has been used in medicines, eye-washes, after shave lotions and salves for soothing insect bites, burns and poison ivy rashes. (Kershaw) Witch hazel obtains its name from the dowsers, or ""water witches"" who used forked witch-hazel sticks to detect groundwater. This tradition apparently began with First Nations (Mohican). First Nations used witch hazel leaves for tea. Leaves may persist into winter. (Lady Bird Johnson, 2005)


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