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Witch Hazel Flowering Trees And Shrubs

Updated on June 19, 2012

When you think of Witch Hazel what comes to mind might be a bottle of astringent or an ingredient used in medicines but did you know that these medicinal ingredients were extracted from the bark and leaves of unusual small flowering trees and medium to large shade tolerant shrubs with unique blooms?

Barmstedt Gold Hybrid Witch Hazel
Barmstedt Gold Hybrid Witch Hazel

Not only does Witch Hazel stand out from the crowd with its showy blooms, it also is first in line for attention as it blooms in winter to early spring. In the cold and gray months it's quite a treat to happen upon these bright yellow or carmine red flowers and enjoy their lovely fragrance while all around the the branches of other trees are bare. I took these photos near the end of the blooming period in March in Ohio.

Carmine Red Hybrid Witch Hazel
Carmine Red Hybrid Witch Hazel

According to Wikipedia, Witch Hazel may have gotten it's name from the Old English word, wiche, which means bendable and the name Hazel from the Hazel twigs used for divining rods. While our early colonists used the twigs to search for water, American Indians were already aware of the medicinal benefits this unusual tree offers.

Sandra Vernal Witch Hazel
Sandra Vernal Witch Hazel

Everything about Witch Hazel seems to scream "Look at me. I'm different!" The "fruit" of Witch Hazel are the odd woody capsuled shaped objects that resemble strange nuts. Inside each are two hard black seeds. When the capsule explodes the seeds are propelled a distance from the plant.

Early Bright Chinese Witch Hazel
Early Bright Chinese Witch Hazel

You can find these small trees and woody flowering shrubs in zones 3 to 8. They'll do well in sun or part shade and offer you colored leaves in the fall.

They may also be great conversation starters when they bloom in your neighborhood.

Pallida Witch Hazel
Pallida Witch Hazel

So If you're looking for something to brighten up your dull winter landscape, count on these easy to grow members of the Hamamelidaceae family to get the job done.

Had you seen a Witch Hazel tree before viewing this hub?

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    • profile image

      Lichterstiege 4 years ago

      if you want to use this small tree for your health-care, use the original one, no hybrids which have the bigger flowers. In medicine are used the leaves, not the flowers, and added to a good basic preparation the Hamamelis is excellent for skin-care and blood-circulation.

    • TToombs08 profile image

      Terrye Toombs 5 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

      I'm always looking for unusual plants and trees to plant around the house. My favorite has been the Rosetree of China, and I'm thinking a Witch Hazel is going to be added to that list. Beautiful trees. Thank you for sharing this! Well written as well. Voting this UP!

    • BkCreative profile image

      BkCreative 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Great hub! And I believe in using native plants in our native environment - and reaping its benefits.

      Rated way up and more!

    • mannyrolando profile image

      mannyrolando 6 years ago

      Great hub! Informative... and your photography it amazing!

    • Fossillady profile image

      Kathi 6 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan

      I want one of these in my yard! Very cool!

    • thoughtfulgirl2 profile image

      thoughtfulgirl2 6 years ago from East Coast

      I'm a big fan of Witch Hazel, I just am intrigued by how it looks and acts. I didn't know the seed kind of explodes out of the plant and I didn't know there was a rosey colored witch hazel. You learn something new every day!

    • Kay Creates profile image
      Author

      Kay Creates 7 years ago from Ohio

      Thank you for the kind comment kims3003

    • profile image

      kims3003 7 years ago

      Great information. Written very well with a nice writing style. A+!

    • Kay Creates profile image
      Author

      Kay Creates 7 years ago from Ohio

      Thanks mulberry and DustinsMom for viewing and commenting.

    • DustinsMom profile image

      DustinsMom 7 years ago from USA

      Great photos Kay. I too knew little about this plant. Heard of it but never seen it. Thank you for sharing.

    • mulberry1 profile image

      mulberry1 7 years ago

      Love the photos. I knew witch hazel was some type of plant, but I had never seen it before.

    • Kay Creates profile image
      Author

      Kay Creates 7 years ago from Ohio

      Thanks Liz. I was very taken with them the first time I saw them. I'm planting some this year.

    • liswilliams profile image

      liswilliams 7 years ago from South Africa

      they pretty awesome, can't say I've seen anywhere I'm from. Definitely different!

    • Kay Creates profile image
      Author

      Kay Creates 7 years ago from Ohio

      Thank you for reading CMHypno.

    • CMHypno profile image

      CMHypno 7 years ago from Other Side of the Sun

      Beautiful pictures of witch hazel and great info

    • Kay Creates profile image
      Author

      Kay Creates 7 years ago from Ohio

      Thank you Ron

    • rprcarz50 profile image

      rprcarz50 7 years ago

      Great article Kay , Got your message at rg , I'm new there so will follow here as well. Thank you for your time and attention.

      Keep on Hubbing

      Ron

      As Always also a2z50

    • Kay Creates profile image
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      Kay Creates 7 years ago from Ohio

      valeriebelow and 2usday - Thank you for viewing and commenting.

    • 2uesday profile image

      2uesday 7 years ago

      sorry I posted the above twice in error. : )

    • 2uesday profile image

      2uesday 7 years ago

      The red witch hazel is a new one to me I have only ever seen a yellow one growing here. Interesting and informative to read and the photos are very nice.

    • valeriebelew profile image

      valeriebelew 7 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA

      Interesting Kay, I'd never heard of these, and anything that would bloom in ohio should do so deeper south. They are definitely different looking shrubs. Good information.

    • Kay Creates profile image
      Author

      Kay Creates 7 years ago from Ohio

      Thank you for reading Jule.

    • Jule Romans profile image

      Jule Romans 7 years ago from United States

      I really enjoy this plant. I love the fact that it is native, too.

    • Kay Creates profile image
      Author

      Kay Creates 7 years ago from Ohio

      Thanks lorlie. The first time I saw these shrubs I was very surprised.

    • lorlie6 profile image

      Laurel Rogers 7 years ago from Bishop, Ca

      Well, I'll be! I've used the stuff all of my life, and never knew it looked so witchy! This is a really fun hub, Kay, thanks!