Hamamelis vernalis Sarg.

  • Family: Hamamelidaceae (witch hazel and sweet gum)
  • Common name: witch hazel, Ozark witch hazel

    Shrub to 3 m (9 ft) tall, usually with numerous branches from the base. Twigs densely stellate-tomentose. Leaves alternate, rounded-ovate to elliptic, 5-12 cm (2-4.7 in) long and 4-9 cm (1.6-3.5 in) wide. Flowers yellowish or reddish, with four very narrow petals about 1 cm (0.4 in) long, blooming in late Winter or early Spring. Fruits pubescent capsules about 1.5 cm (0.6 in) long, opening from the top.

    Distribution: Southern Missouri and eastern Oklahoma eastward to Alabama.
    Habitat: Rocky streambanks.
    Comment: An extract of the bark of this and other species of Hamamelis is used in witch-hazel lotion. Hamamelis is from Greek words meaning "at the same time" and "apple", possibly because flowers and fruits are present simultaneously; vernalis refers to the spring-blooming habit.
    NWI status: none

    Distribution in Oklahoma:

    Last update: 9/10/99
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