General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Shrub
Tree
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Partial or Dappled Shade
Partial Shade to Full Shade
Full Shade
Water Preferences: Wet Mesic
Mesic
Dry Mesic
Soil pH Preferences: Moderately acid (5.6 – 6.0)
Slightly acid (6.1 – 6.5)
Neutral (6.6 – 7.3)
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 4a -34.4 °C (-30 °F) to -31.7 °C (-25 °F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 8b
Plant Height: 20 to 30 feet
Plant Spread: 20 to 25 feet
Leaves: Good fall color
Deciduous
Other: Bright clear yellow leaves in the fall
Fruit: Pops open explosively when ripe
Fruiting Time: Summer
Flowers: Showy
Fragrant
Flower Color: Yellow
Bloom Size: 1"-2"
Flower Time: Fall
Late fall or early winter
Winter
Uses: Windbreak or Hedge
Provides winter interest
Erosion control
Shade Tree
Flowering Tree
Medicinal Herb
Will Naturalize
Edible Parts: Bark
Stem
Leaves
Seeds or Nuts
Eating Methods: Tea
Cooked
Propagation: Other methods: Layering
Other: Suckers
Pollinators: Flies
Bees
Containers: Suitable in 3 gallon or larger
Needs repotting every 2 to 3 years

Image
Common names
  • Witch Hazel
  • American Witch Hazel
  • Common Witch Hazel
Botanical names
  • Accepted: Hamamelis virginiana
  • Synonym: Hamamelis macrophylla

Photo Gallery
Location: Illinois, USA
Date: 2018-10-31
Location: Radford Virginia
Date: 2019-11-05
Witch Hazel near the Virginia Appachian Trail, with a visitor I d

Date: 2016-11-01
Location: Toledo Botanical Gardens, Toledo, Ohio
Date: 2019-11-08
Details of blooms of American witch hazel, Hamamelis virginiana

Date: 4000-10-30

Photo courtesy of: Tom Potterfield
Location: PA
Date: 4000-10-30
Location: Cedarhome, Washington
Date: 2015-10-06
Fall color
Location: Beautiful Tennessee,  Rock City
Date: 2018-10-11
Location: Toledo Botanical Gardens, Toledo, Ohio
Date: 2019-11-08
American witch hazel, Hamamelis virginiana, in bloom in early Nov

photo credit: H. Zell

photo credit: H. Zell
Location: Botanical Gardens of the State of Georgia...Athens, Ga
Date: 2019-11-17
Witch Hazel 001
Location: Daniel Boone National Forest Ky
Date: 2015-10-29

Date: 2013-01-10

Date: c. 1819
illustration of Hamamelis virginiana from 'Nouveau Duhamel, ou Tr

Date: winter
photo by broombesoom, courtesy of NC Cooperative Extension: https
Location: Daniel Boone National Forest Ky
Date: 2015-10-29

Date: 4000-10-30
Location: Heathcote Ontario Canada
Date: 2017  November
Hamamelis virginiana    capsules
Location: Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois
Date: 2015-06-19
upright shrub next to building
Location: Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois
Date: 2015-06-19
summer foliage
Location: Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois
Date: winter in 1980's
two shrubs in winter
Location: near Wilmington, Delaware
Date: 2010-06-30
wild shrub in woods
Location: West Chester, Pennsylvania
Date: 2015-10-26
shrub in fall color in landscape
Location: near Downingtown, Pennsylvania
Date: 2011-11-20
yellow flowers of a wild shrub along woods
Location: Chicago Botanical Gardens
Date: 2013-05-22
Location:  Ky 
Date: 2015-10-28

photo credit: H. Zell
Location: Daniel Boone National Forest Ky
Date: 2015-10-29
Location: Daniel Boone National Forest Ky
Date: 2015-10-29
native to forest mountian areas of Ky
Location: Skaneateles Conservation Area
photo credit: R. A. Nonenmacher
Photo by fiwit
Location: Hollis, New Hampshire
Date: August 11, 2013
Location: near Downingtown, Pennsylvania
Date: 2012-06-10
wild shrub in forest
Location: West Chester, Pennsylvania
Date: 2014-06-02
shrub planted on slope in landscape
Location: near Downingtown, Pennsylvania
Date: 2010-06-21
summer leaves in woods
Location: Batavia, Illinois
Date: October in 1980's
shrub in autumn color at forest preserve office
Location: West Chester, Pennsylvania
Date: 2010-10-25
autumn foliage

Date: 2015-02-04
Photo courtesy of: Tom Potterfield
Location: West Chester, Pennsylvania
Date: 2010-10-25
close-up of autumn leaves
Location: near West Chester, Pennsylvania
Date: 2015-11-02
full-grown shrub in bloom with some leaves left
Location: near West Chester, Pennsylvania
Date: 2015-11-02
yellow blooms, branches, a few leaves
Location: near West Chester, Pennsylvania
Date: 2015-11-04
looking through branches with blooms
Location: near West Chester, Pennsylvania
Date: 2015-11-02
yellow blooms in branches
Location: near Downingtown, Pennsylvania
Date: 2011-11-20
a single flower cluster of a wild plant
Location: Chicago Botanical Gardens
Date: 2013-05-22
This plant is tagged in:
Image

Comments:
  • Posted by wildflowers (North East Texas - Zone 7b) on Aug 28, 2014 3:18 PM concerning plant:
    H. virginiana is a deciduous tree native to eastern Texas and other parts of North America. The leaves look much like those of the hazelnut tree. One old name for the tree is "snapping hazelnut" because the ripe seeds will snap and shoot a good distance. The forked twigs of Witch Hazel are made into "divining rods" in search of water. Distilled witch hazel is used as an astringent cleanser that is very gentle on the skin. I had a neighbor in her 70's that attributed the daily use of witch hazel to her beautiful complexion and youthful glow. Excuse me while I go dig that bottle out of the cupboard!
  • Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Jan 4, 2018 9:53 AM concerning plant:
    Common Witchhazel is a high quality large shrub, that sometimes can be a small multi-trunk tree. It is native from Nova Scotia and southeast Canada, much of New England and New York down into northern Florida to east Texas & Oklahoma to northern Wisconsin & lower Michigan in upland mesic woods or along woods. The leaves get to 6 inches long. It has nice smooth light gray to brown-gray bark. The small yellow flowers with strap-like petals are about 1/2 to 1 inch wide in clusters of 3 bloom from late September to early December. They don't become conspicuous until the golden yellow autumn foliage falls. It grows about 1 to 1.5 feet/year and lives about 100 to 200 years. It bears a dry, brown fruit of a fuzzy, two beaked woody capsule about 3/4 inches long that is present all year long. It is somewhat difficult to transplant because of developing deep, course lateral roots, but is best moved in spring B&B. Witchazels need a good quality soil from sandy to silty to good clay, but not for heavy or compacted clay soils. It is best to keep out of strong, dry windy sites as it does not tolerate strong drought well. Many nurseries sell some of this species. I only find a very few in the average homeowner's yard, but landscape designers and architects love to use some in estates, parks, campuses, office parks, and various other public places. I've see it growing wild in the woods of southeast Pennsylvania, northern Delaware, and southwest Michigan. It is a good shrub that should be used more. In recent times, the Chinese-Japanese Hybrid Witchazel has been used a lot instead because the Asian species has showier flowers in yellow, orange, or red. I still prefer the American species.
Plant Events from our members
KelliW On January 25, 2020 Seeds sown
wintersown outdoors in a jug, zone 6b
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