(Common, Witch Hazel)
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Hamamelis virginiana, known as common witch hazel, is a fall/winter-blooming, deciduous shrub or small tree that is native to woodlands, forest margins and stream banks in eastern North America. It typically grows 15-20′ tall with a similar spread in cultivation, but can reach 30′ tall in its native habitat. Stem-hugging clusters of fragrant bright yellow flowers, each with four crinkly, ribbon-shaped petals, appear along the branches from October to December, usually after leaf drop but sometimes at the time of fall color. Fertilized flowers will form fruit over a long period extending through winter and into the following growing season. Fruits are greenish seed capsules that become woody with age and mature to light brown. Each seed capsule splits open in fall of the following year, exploding the 1-2 black seeds within for up to 30 feet. Oval to obovate, medium to dark green leaves (to 6″ long) with dentate to wavy margins turn quality shades of yellow in fall.