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Witch Hazel, Common Witch Hazel, Winter Bloom, Spotted-alder, Tobacco-wood, Pistachio, Snappy Hazel, Witch-elm
Hamamelis virginiana


Common witch hazel is a multi-trunked, rounded shrub or sometimes a small tree that is noted for the yellow flowers that cover the stems in fall. Its dense summer foliage turns to yellow in the fall, and the fragrant flowers can either appear concurrent with the leaves or after they have dropped. It grows in rich, moist soil in woodlands, usually in partial shade, in East Texas and the Eastern and Central U.S. from Florida to Canada. Witch hazel needs moist, well-drained, acidic soil to thrive, but it is somewhat adaptable to neutral soils. There is an isolated population in the Edwards Plateau, in Bandera County, and specimens grown from this stock would be more adapted to the drier, more alkaline soils west of its native habitat. Although witch hazel will grow in full sun, from Central Texas west it needs dappled or partial shade. It is at its best in the landscape in a naturalized setting, allowed to develop its irregular, rounded open crown with large crooked branches. A distillate from the bark was once widely used as an astringent. The seeds are a food source for birds and other wildlife.

Plant Habit or Use: medium shrub
large shrub

Exposure: sun
partial sun

Flower Color: yellow

Blooming Period: fall

Fruit Characteristics: woody capsule

Height: 10 to 15 feet

Width: 10 to 12 feet

Plant Character: deciduous

Heat Tolerance: low

Water Requirements:

Soil Requirements: acid

USDA Hardiness Zone: 3

Additional Comments:

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