Monday, February 1, 2010

Witch Hazel

Witch Hazel was the last blooming shrub in my yard before Jack Frost and Grandmother Winter showed up. This Autumn bloomer has wonderful spidery yellow flowers. Also known as Winter bloom for that reason.

So how did Witch Hazel get it's name? No not from the cartoon character. It has been associated with Witches and Magic for centuries. It's branches can be used as divining rods. Folklore states you can find enchanted underground wells and even buried treasure. I haven't tried this yet but I'll let you know if it works! Parts of this shrub were also used in healing and protection spells.
The astringent Witch Hazel does indeed come from this shrub.

I'm lucky to have many native Witch Hazel's growing in our surrounding woods. I do know Native plant nurseries carry Witch Hazel. The species I have is Hamamelis Virginiana. Witch Hazel is bound to enchant your Garden!


  1. I just love Witch Hazel! The blooms are so light and airy!

    The Witch Hazel we have around here is the same species as the one mentioned in the post and it blooms around the time of the Vernal Equinox.

  2. I have the same species growing in my yard, and I too love it!

    Here too, it is an early bloomer, oftentimes sparkling in the early morning sunlight with delicate snowflakes clinging to the fragile flowers!

    Thanks for mentioning this wonderful shrub! I love it's Autumn color too! It just glows!! Love the photos!!

  3. My mother always used witch hazel for cuts and scrapes and when I had oily skin in my teens--it was the best! I don't think a cabinet is complete without the astringent made from the plant. In fact, just the smell of it makes me sentimental. When I was little, the name of it made me fascinated with all things witch--my mother grew curatives for teas in her garden, thinks she used to pick and sell during the depression era for money for locals making cures. I always thought she was a witch when she'd make me some chamomile tea. I still get all sentimental around the herbs and made my own curative teas for years until my garden became too shaded by a tree I didn't have the heart to cut down. This is a beautiful blog. Glad you're here!

  4. I love the smell of witch hazel, too. :) I'm not sure if we have it around here, but I will keep an eye out for those flowers. Lovely blog!

  5. I still use Witch Hazel for my face. I'm not sure what's up but I turned 41 and my skin is acting like I'm a teenager.
    I've heard that Autumn what wonderful memories. You know there are other herbs that can grow in your area in shade.
    Pam I'm sure you have it in wooded areas. :)

  6. Well today on Martha Stewart she featured this wonderful shrub. For her it's the first shrub to bloom in late feb. or early march. You know I never noticed if it blooms in the spring too. I'll have to keep my eyes peeled. :)

  7. I'm sick the local power company cut down so many witch hazel trees last summer. They clear cut 10 ft off the road across the street and there were a dozen or so witch hazels there