The Other Witch of November: Witch Hazel

November 9, 2012

Witch Hazel

Witch Hazel, photo by Voxphoto

Naturalist Jonathan Schechter wrote an article last year entitled Witch of the Woods – and her name is Hazel about this small  tree that actually flowers in November:

Native Americans knew this tree before the invaders with guns and axes in tall sailing ships landed on the eastern shore and carved the land to suit their wants and needs. In colonial America even as the British exchanged shots with the rebellious colonists, the shrub’s flexible forked branches was being used as “witching stick” by the dousers: folks who held the forked branches in hand waiting for the tip to point to hidden waters. Bad news for Halloween fans: The word witch in witch hazel originates from the old English word for pliable branches “wych” and has nothing to do with a lady in black straddling an airborne broom.

Your grandmother and probably your mom (and maybe you) used this plant for a wide array of medical ailments. It is found in a liquid form in almost all drug stores today and sold as an astringent, and for treaments of irritations, pain and itching, skin conditions and another 20 or 30 uses!

More about Witch Hazel (Hamamelis) on Wikipedia.

Check this out background big, see  more in Ross’s garden slideshow and also see his past work on Michigan in Pictures.

3 Responses to “The Other Witch of November: Witch Hazel”

  1. lesuperkikke Says:

    It shine like gold :)

  2. Sydney King Says:

    When I think I am looking at pictures of and about Michigan I resent being presented with pictures of Montreal or anywhere else other than Michigan!!

  3. farlane Says:

    Are you unable to read, Sydney? As I have already explained, the pictures on Michigan in Pictures are all from Michigan.

    I resent your implication that they are not. If you are unable to accept that what I tell you is the truth is in fact the truth, may I direct you to take your browsing anywhere else on the internet?


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