Witch Hazel

Botanical Name: Hamamelis virginiana

Brief Description and Notes: This is a beautiful and fragrant fall-blooming small native tree or shrub.  Witch Hazel is rather unique in its ability to simultaneously hold flower, fruit, and bud. Look for wispy/crinkly yellow (sometimes tinged with red) flowers in fall. Leaves are oval-ish with wavy edges.

Where To Look For It: You may come across this species in the understory of a deciduous forest or near a stream bank, though it is becoming more popular as a yard tree (for good reason!). Prefers acidic and rich soil; tolerates clay. 

Ornamental Value: Requires little pruning and offers much in the way of late fall color and winter interest. 

Ecological Value & Roles: Supports insects with winter food

Edibility and Other Human Use: You may recognize the name as an ingredient in a variety of skin tonics; indeed, the astringent properties of the twigs, bark, and leaves have long been used topically. 



Missouri Botanical Garden