Hamamelis virginiana L.

  • Family: Hamamelidaceae (witch hazel)
  • Common names: witch hazel, American witch hazel
  • Synonym: Hamamelis macrophylla

    Shrub or small tree to 5 m (15 ft) tall. Twigs glabrous or sparsely pubescent. Leaves obovate to almost round, 5-15 cm (2-6 in) long and almost as wide, wavy-toothed, with 5-7 prominent veins, glabrous above, sometimes with hairs on veins below. Flowers with narrow yellow petals 1.5-2 cm (0.6-0.8 in) long, blooming in Fall. Fruits obovoid capsules about 1.5 cm long, united to about the middle with the calyx-tube, densely hairy.

    Distribution: Native to most of the eastern third of the U. S. and southeastern Canada.
    Habitat: Upland hardwood forests and well-drained floodplain forests.
    NWI status: FAC-
    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; virginiana refers to the Virginia colony.

    Distribution in Oklahoma:

    Last update: 9/10/99
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