Newton Conservators logo fall photo of Sawmill Brook
 
 

This Month in the Newton Conservators Almanac

November 2012

 
 
Photo by Sue J. Avery

WITCH-HAZEL, Hamamelis virginiana

Witch-Hazel is a multi-stemmed shrub with a bowing, graceful form that grows eight to 15 feet high and wide. "Hamamelis" means the flower and fruit mature at the same time. Witch-hazel has something interesting to offer all four seasons of the year. It is one of the only plants to bloom for many weeks through October and November. The blooms create a haze of golden-yellow, spider-like blossoms with a faint apricot fragrance, which cover the witch-hazel until the blossoms begin their transformation to small nutlets. Many bright, clear gold leaves may still cling to the branches as the flowers begin to bloom.

Witch-hazel nutlets ripen in fall - growing in groups of three - and remain on the shrub even after they burst open and shoot their seeds several yards from the parent plant. The fruit of the witch-hazel is eaten by white-tailed deer and cottontail rabbit. Witch-hazel provides nesting sites, perching locations and general cover for birds.

More information:

US Department of Agriculture

Wikipedia

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Arbor Day Foundation

 

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