Hamamelis L.

Witch Hazel

Ancient Greek name.

Deciduous shrubs or small trees with star-shaped hairs (lens). Leaves alternate with an uneven base, widely spaced teeth and short stalks. Flowers 3-4 together, mostly bisexual in axillary short-stalked spidery clusters, strongly scented. Sepals 4. Petals 4, strap-like, crumpled in bud, yellow to orange-red. Stamens 4, short. Carpels 2, united. Ovary semi-inferior, chambers 2, each with 1 ovule, styles 2. Fruit a woody 2-seeded capsule.

Seed (2 years germination), layers, grafting (generally using H. virginiana stock).

Bark the source of various medicinal compounds; flower extracts used in perfumery.

Leaves similar to those of the Hazel, Corylus, but the bases unequal. Flowers open before or after the leaves.

4 species from temperate E North America and E Asia.

Lancaster (1970, 1976).

Source: Spencer, R. (1997). Hamamelidaceae. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 2. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 1. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     [Saxifraganae]
order      Saxifragales
family       Hamamelidaceae
Higher taxa
Subordinate taxa
species         Hamamelis ×intermedia Rehder
species         Hamamelis mollis Oliv.
species         Hamamelis vernalis Sarg.
species         Hamamelis virginiana L.