Family:Hamamelidaceae Genus:Hamamelis Species:virginiana Common name: Common Witch-hazel
Mature Height: 15 to 20 feet
Mature Width: 15 to 20 feet
Growth Rate: Slow (6).
Crown Form: Densely clumped stems form irregular, upright, and round crowns
Lifespan: Long (6).
Description: Common witch-hazel is a large shrub that grows naturally along the edge of woodland areas and displays an irregular branching habit that results in a rather open, irregular crown (1).
Leaves: The leaves of common witch-hazel are simple, alternate, oval, about 6 inches in length, and exhibit irregular or wavy toothed margins (1). Leaves are green in the summer and turn a bright yellow in the fall.
Flowers: This shrub has fragrant yellow flowers that are unique and ribbon-like which persist up to late fall for some time after leaves drop (2).
Fruit: The fruit of common witch-hazel is a brown capsule that ripens in the fall (1).
Bark: Bark of this shrub is smooth and grey with prominent tan colored lenticels in more mature stems (1).
Region of Origin: Common witch-hazel is native to the eastern United states and found rarely in Minnesota. It is found very sparsely only in a few southeastern counties of Minnesota where the shrub meets its northwestern extent (2).
Habitat Requirements: Common witch-hazel is typically found in the understory of deciduous forests with characteristic species like maple, oak, and basswood. A considerably resilient and tolerant shrub, common witch-hazel does well in a range of dry to moist soils as well as in areas of full sun to full shade. It is also tolerant of salt damage as well as black walnut toxicity (1).
Light:Very shade tolerant, but plants receiving full sun are fuller and more symmetrical (4).
Soil Type:Grows best in loamy soils (4).
pH Level:Acidic soils less than 6.8
Moisture Content:Grows best in moist and well drained soils (4).
Plant Hardiness Zones:3 to 8 (1).
Cultural Uses: Witch-hazel has many medicinal uses for humans. First nations and early settlers made use of its leaves for medicinal teas. The bark and leaves are also used in topical or oral treatments to reduce itching, swelling, and pain.
Wildlife Uses: Common witch-hazel provides useful nutrition for lots of wildlife. The shrub is browsed and enjoyed by deer, beavers, and grey squirrels. In addition, birds and small mammals feed on the fruit and seeds of the plant (5). Landscape Uses: Valuable in naturalized areas and suitable in shrub borders of larger buildings. Likely too large of a plant for smaller residential landscape use (7). Pests and Diseases: No serious disease or pest problems are typical of common witch-hazel. Insect galls can become present in foliage and Japanese beetle has been known to rarely feed on the plant (2). Propagation: Witch-hazel can be propagated vegetatively by seed or cuttings. Seeds can be acquired commercially or by collecting fruits in late August to September. Fruits can be dried to collect the seeds within and then seeds must be properly stored and stratified prior to planting (5). Seeds should be stratified for 60 days at 68 degrees F plus 90 days at 41 degrees F (7). Use softwood cuttings from young plants, and root using 10,000 ppm IBA for greatest success rooting (7).
TWC Staff. “Hamamelis virginiana.” Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, 12 June 2017. Web. 11 April 2018.<https://bit.ly/2EGb7GG>.
“Hamamelis virginiana L. American witchhazel HAVI4.” Plants Database. USDA. Web. 11 April 2018.
Dirr, Michael. Manual of Woody Landscape Plants: Their Identification, Ornamental Characteristics, Culture, Propagation and Uses. Champaign, Ill: Stipes Pub, 2009. Print.
Treeseedsdirect4u. “Witch Hazel (Witchhazel), Hamamelis virginiana, Tree Seed (Fragrant, Fall Color).” Amazon.com. Amazon. Digital Image. 11 April 2018. <https://amzn.to/2GXAANQ>
Franz Eugen Köhler. “Hamamelis virginiana.” Wikimedia Commons. Wikimedia Commons, 31 December 1896. Illustration. 11 April 2018. <https://bit.ly/2qoEqZi>
H. Zell. “Witch hazel flower and fruits.” Wikimedia Commons. Wikimedia Commons, 9 December 2009. Digital Image. 11 April 2018. <https://bit.ly/2GS4N4T>
Rob Duval. “The bark of a Common Witch Hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) growing along a trail in Hollis, New Hampshire.” Wikimedia Commons. Wikimedia Commons, 7 December 2013. Digital Image. 11 April 2018. <https://bit.ly/2HgJxFj>
Kartesz, J. T. 1999. A synonymized checklist and atlas with biological attributes for the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. First edition. In J. T. Kartesz, and C.A. Meacham. Synthesis of the North American flora, version 1.0. North Carolina Botanical Garden, Chapel Hill, NC. (CD-ROM)
U.S. Geological Survey. “Range map of Hamamelis virginiana.” Wikimedia Commons. Wikimedia Commons, 1999. Digital Image. 11 April 2018. <https://bit.ly/2EGFSLA>
“USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map.” Agricultural Research Service. USDA, 2012. Digital Image. 11 April 2018. <https://bit.ly/1kzrtob>
Cesarini, Gabe. “Untitled.” 24 March 2018. Digital Image.