Witch Hazel

Hamamelis virginiana

Copyright, Mark Brand

Witch Hazel is a common shrub, sometimes growing tall enough to be considered a tree. It usually grows to about 15 feet, but can reach heights of 30 feet.

This shrub is very broad and has many trunks. Its bark is light brown and can be smooth or scaly.

Witch Hazel leaves are three to six inches long and have scalloped edges. They turn yellow in the fall.

Copyright, Mark Brand

Copyright, Mark Brand

Witch Hazel grows in forests as an understory plant, meaning underneath taller trees. It also grows along streams and edges of woods where it grows taller with more light.

Witch Hazel is aromatic, meaning it has a pleasant smell.

This plant blooms in the fall and has yellow, ribbon-like flowers with one inch petals.

After the flowers fade, fruit develops for the next year, becoming ripe the following Fall.

The fruit ,which is about 1/2 inch long, explodes, launching two black seeds up to 30 feet.

Witch Hazel grows underneath oaks, hickories, American Elm, Red Maple, Yellow Poplar, pine trees, Sweetgum, and American Beech.

It is often alongside other shrubs or small trees, like Sassafras, Flowering Dogwood, and blueberry.

Many birds eat the seeds, as well as Beaver, White-tailed Deer, Eastern Chipmunks, squirrels, and Eastern Cottontails.

Copyright, Mark Brand

Relationships in Nature:

Animals Using as Food Source

Animals Using as Shelter

Associations With Other Plants

OTHER

Beaver

American Dog Tick

Black Oak

Poison Ivy Pa

White-tailed Deer

Northern Cardinal

Red Maple

Crowded Parchment Pa

Eastern Cottontail

American Robin

Eastern White Pine

Honey Mushroom Pa

Eastern Gray Squirrel

Mourning Dove

Yellow Poplar

Dogwood Borer Pa

Eastern Chipmunk

American Goldfinch

American Elm

Wild Turkey

Spring Peeper

Sassafras

European Gypsy Moth

Striped Skunk

American Beech

Green Stinkbug

Eastern Gray Squirrel

Sweetgum

True Katydid

Eastern Chipmunk

Highbush Blueberry

Soil Mite

Meadow Vole

Flowering Dogwood

Polyphemus Moth

Least Shrew

Virginia Creeper

Dogwood Borer

Northern Bobwhite

Poison Ivy

Wild Turkey

Mockernut Hickory

Virginia Opossum

Black Cherry

European Gypsy Moth

Trumpet Creeper

White-tailed Deer

Wild Grape

Black and Yellow Argiope

Climbing Bittersweet

Green Stinkbug

Kentucky Bluegrass

Eastern Hognose Snake

Bigtooth Aspen

Dogwood Borer

Relationship to Humans:

Sap from Witch Hazel is used to scent soaps, deodorants, and lotions. Medicine is made with it as well. Wich Hazel is also used as a landscape shrub.

SCIENTIFIC CLASSIFICATION

KINGDOM
Plant
DIVISION
Magnoliophyta
CLASS
Magnoliopsida
ORDER
Hamamelidales
FAMILY
Hamamelidaceae
GENUS
Hamamelis
SPECIES
Hamamelis virginiana

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