Early Spring blooming gem.
The witch hazel bush (Hamamelis virginiana) is a small tree with fragrant yellow blooms that is a member of the Hamanelidacease family and closely related to the sweet gum. Although witch hazel has many common names, the generic name means “together with fruit,” which refers to the fact that this special tree is the only tree in North America to have flowers, ripe fruit and next year’s leaf buds on its branches at the same time. The witch hazel bush, found in woody areas, is often called water-witch as its branches were once used to search and find underground sources of water and minerals. Witch hazel is commonly used to treat insect bites, sunburn and as a refreshing lotion for after shaving.