Previous Plant Next Plant

Hamamelis virginiana

American Witchhazel /

A tall shrub or small tree with fragrant yellow flowers that open in late October or early November providing nectar for migrating insects. It takes a full year for the fruit to mature. When the seed capsule splits open in fall, 1-2 black seeds explode out of it, landing up to 30 feet away. Various birds and wildlife eat the seed after it falls to the ground. Upright spreading branches are perfect nesting sites for a variety of birds. Deep, golden yellow fall leaf color can be outstanding.


  • Good source of nectar late in the season
  • Fragrant, bright yellow flowers in late fall
  • Great fall foliage color
  • Provides nesting sites for many different birds
  • A tough, adaptable plant suitable for a variety of garden uses

Homeowner Growing and Maintenance Tips

Grows best in moist, acidic, rich soil in partial shade.

Tolerates clay soil and poor drainage.

Remove basal sprouts to maintain tree-like shape and to prevent suckers from spreading if you don't want a thicket.

15-20 Feet


15-20 Feet

USDA Hardiness Zone 3-8

Native Range

Wooded slopes, floodplains, damp woods and thickets; Nova Scotia, southern Quebec and southern Ontario to eastern Minnesota south to eastern Texas and central Florida.

Native Trivia
Twigs, leaves and bark are the basis of witchhazel extract. The extract is an astringent used to treat inflammation, insect bites, poison ivy and other skin and eye irritations.

"Birds really like this plant's branching habit and prefer it for nest sites."

Good Companions
Bottlebrush Buckeye (Aesculus parviflora)

Characteristics & Attributes

Plan Sub Group
  • Medium to Tall Shrubs
  • Filtered Shade
  • Morning Sun / Afternoon Shade
  • Sun
  • Acidic
  • Well-drained
Soil Moisture Preference
  • Average
  • Moist
  • Moist but well-drained
Attracts Wildlife
  • Beneficial insects
  • Mammals
  • Songbirds
Bloom Time
  • Fall
Habitat Collection
  • Songbird
Native Habitat
  • Forest
  • Riparian, wetland
Foliage Color
  • Dark Green
  • Accent
  • Cut or dried flower
  • Fragrant
  • Hedge, screen
  • Meadow
  • Naturalizes
  • Ornamental fruit
Native to
  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • District of Columbia
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin