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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.

Benefits

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.


Height
15-20 Feet

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Spread
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."

Characteristics & Attributes

Plan Sub Group
Medium to Tall Shrubs
Exposure
Filtered Shade
Morning Sun / Afternoon Shade
Sun
Soil
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
Uses
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