Witch Hazel
Monday, November 8, 2010 at 5:55AM
[chuck] in Hamamelis, Science, Witch hazel, fall

There are a couple of things that I really like about witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana L.).  An extract from the bark and leaves is used medicinally as an astringent. This is what the barber used to splash on the back of your neck after you got a haircut when you were a kid. The twigs of this small tree are also used for making diving rods to "dowse" or locate ground water.  And, perhaps the best thing of all, late in the fall this species produces a bunch of small, pink and orangish flowers (shown above) just before it drops its leaves.  The last thing to flower in my backyard. [NOTE: The genus name means "together with fruit", the flowers, fruits, and next year's leaf buds all appearing on the branch at the same time].

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