Witch Hazel, Hamamelis virginiana
Hamamelidaceae or Witch Hazel Family


Shrub or small tree.  Leaves roughly egg-shaped, but asymmetrical, wavy-toothed, deciduous. Flowers in late autumn, after the leaves drop, sometimes after the first snows.   Flowers have 4 long, crinkly, strap-shaped yellow petals and 4 tiny yellow sepals. They look almost like yellow insects. Fruit a brown capsule that takes a year to mature and then explodes, flinging the seeds out.

Occasional understory shrub in the woods.  Best seen along Wildwood Drive. 

The wavy-edged, asymmetrical leaves are distinctive and easily recognizable. In flower, however, the plant is unmistakable.

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Fall foliage   Fall leaf