Witch-hazel   Hamamelis mollis

Witch-hazel Perhaps more strictly a shrub, it is was introduced from China in 1879 but is also native in Japan and North America.

Its twigs bear clusters of unusual bright yellow, sweetly-scented flowers that appear in January and February. For this reason it is a popular plant in gardens. It usually grows up to 3-4m but can reach 8-9m. A large number of cultivars ranging from pale yellow to deep orange or red are now available to gardeners.

The name Witch-hazel is a corruption of Wych Hazel; a name given to it by early American settlers who thought that its twigs looked like those of our native Hazel. Indeed the leaves are similar too.

The bark, leaves and twigs are boiled with alcohol to produce a medicine used to treat inflammation and bleeding.

At Keele : A large plant in Barnes Dell by the stream.

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