The Flowering Witch Hazel

Strange things happen this time of the year, not only in the human world, but also in nature. Bounding through the woods, you might not notice a small tree with its yellow fall leaves, but Miz Flora had pointed out the species on August 7. Since then Hickory and I have been waiting to see a Witch Hazel bloom–which they do in the fall! Now that’s a different tree. We did find a stand of native ones, Hamamelis virginiana. They are the short, low ones with the duller yellow leaves.

And still I nearly missed the blossoms. They are the same color as the leaves and tiny. See them?

Here’s another view of the four stringy petals.

And by the way, don’t say anything to Miz Flora, but she was wrong about the name coming from the bewitching time of year the Witch Hazel blooms. Nope, it’s because the branches of this plant was used for divining rods.

“Uh, Nutmeg?” Hickory said. “Divining, that’s using a stick to find water. To me, that sounds more witchy than finding a plant blooming at the wrong time of year.”

Hmm, when he puts it that way–“Race you home, Hickory!”


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