The WALA Plant Library
Witch Hazel

Synonyms for Witch Hazel: snapping hazel, winterbloom, wych-hazel, stripped alder, spotted alder, tobacco wood
Scientific Name: Hamamelis virginiana
Family: Hamamelidaceae


This shrub, which can grow into a tree up to 8 meters high, appears bewitched in many ways. In the autumn, when most of nature begins to rest, fragrant yellow flowers with narrow, ribbonlike petals, appear between the hazelnut-like leaves like harbingers of spring, enveloping all the branches like small stars. The longish fruits, angular at the top, do not mature until the following summer to autumn so that the shrub bears fruits and flowers at the same time. When the fruit reaches full maturity it bursts open at the top scattering its seeds to a distance of several meters.