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Hamamelis virginiana and Other Witch Hazels

By NEILMUIR1
November 23, 2014

Hamamelis virginiana is a most remarkable plant native to north America. It is also known as common or American witch hazel. It is always in use as a true medicinal plant and it is a plant of great ornamental beauty. Hamamelis vernalis, or the Ozark Witch Hazel, is native to Central America. Hamamelis ovalis, or Leonard's Witch Hazel, was only found in 2004 and although an American native is new to science.

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Name: Dirt
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dirtdorphins
Nov 23, 2014 7:13 PM CST
A tree in the family Hamamelidaceae...closely related to the witch-hazels...
Okay, it's really not the same, or all that similar
but it tolerates my alkaline soil, doesn't demand too much water, "flowers" in the very early spring, has cool bark, and decent fall color

Nothing against witch-hazels, mind you. I wish I could grow them here; they just don't like it, so I settle for the Parrotia.

Thanks for the article Neil!
Name: Neil
London\Kent Border
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NEILMUIR1
Nov 23, 2014 7:20 PM CST
I love Parrotia. Unfortunately they have or are playing around in what family it belongs to! I wish they would leave these things alone. One minute they change the name and the next the family, have they got nothing better to do!
Another very early and most beautiful flowering plant. More of them should be grown!
Kindest Regard from a rain lashed England.
Neil.
Name: Mother Raphaela
Holy Myrrhbearers Monastery NY (Zone 4b)
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MotherRaphaela
Nov 24, 2014 11:07 AM CST
Neil, thank you for putting this together. My grandmother used Witch Hazel all the time -- almost as a cure-all topical remedy. And since I got used to it growing up I try to keep it on hand. In addition to a plain, unscented cold extract, Thayers has some lovely scented ones: lavendar and rose are my favorites. Our shepherd, Mother Katherine, keeps their special medicated one to use on the animals, as well as for things like insect bites. It really is the best.

But a question: are there any Witch Hazels native to Europe, or were they all brought over after 1492?
Name: Neil
London\Kent Border
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NEILMUIR1
Nov 24, 2014 12:21 PM CST
Dear M.R. There are no species of Hamamelis native to Europe. The three species Hamamelis ovalis. H. vernalis and H. virginiana are native to north America and so were not brought over there.
The other species H. japonica is Japanese and H. mollis came from China.
By crossing H, Japonica and H. mollis a nurseryman got Hamamelis X intermedia. This resulted in many cultivars which are available today!
Regards, please keep well and warm
Neil.
Name: Sheryl
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sheryl
Nov 24, 2014 2:41 PM CST
Man, you are just a fount of knowledge, Neil!

Edited to correct spelling, *sigh*!
In the end, only kindness matters.

Science is not the answer, it is the question.


[Last edited by sheryl - Nov 24, 2014 2:42 PM (+)]
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Name: Neil
London\Kent Border
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NEILMUIR1
Nov 24, 2014 6:35 PM CST
dear Sheryl, not at all. My Horticultural training and career taught me about this amazing Genus of plants. Also being a Rugby player you often get hurt. Witch Hazel was often used to get the bruises and aches and pain, sorted out!
Regards from minus 5 F and icy now it flooded.
Neil.

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