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© Deeproot Plant Base
common name: Witch Hazel, Winterbloom, Snapping Hazel, Spotted Alder
full sun, part shade
preferred soil pH: acid
minimum temp: -35°C
USDA zone: 4 to 8
Large shrub or sometimes a small tree. Broad obovate or nearly round leaves which turn golden yellow in autumn. Numerous small, faintly scented, yellow flowers produced in autumn as the leaves start to fall.
Best in moist, fertile, acid to neutral soil in sun or part shade.
Prune if required, by removing dead or unwanted branches in late winter/early spring.
This is the commercial source of Witch Hazel, used for medicinal and cosmetic purposes. It is an effective treatment for burns, bruises, haemorrhoids, varicose veins, sore muscles and a variety of other ailments. Also a major constituent of eye-washes.
The common name may originates from the Old English word wych, meaning flexible. Other theories say that the forked branches were made into divining rods used for dowsing water or gold, also known as 'Water Witching'.