Witch-hazel characteristics

What is a witch-hazel?

Witch-hazel characteristics (Hamamelis virginiana)

drawing of witch hazel
Witch hazel drawing

Common Name: witch-hazel, spotted alder, winterbloom, or snapping hazelnut. The last name refers to the seeds that are driven long distances when the fruit matures and opens.

Scientific name: Hamamelis virginiana

Family: Hamamelidaceae

Habitat: Eastern Canada and northeastern United States.


Deciduous shrub of the Hamamelidaceae family that can reach 7 feet tall.

Multiple erect trunks with gray bark. Leaves alternate, pinnately compound with oval leaflets, shortly stalked, toothed, up to 8 cm in length. Leaves downfall occurs in summer.

Yellow flowers that spring from the axils of the leaves and have their bloom between early fall and mid winter. Fruit in capsule with black seeds.

Composition of witch-hazel:

  • Tannins: – gallic acid (leaves) and hamamelitannin (bark and leaves)
  • Flavonoids: quercetin, quercitrin, isoquercitrin, L.-epicatechin, myricetin, phlobaphene, leucocyanidin, leucodelphinidin (leaves)
  • Saponins: (leaves)
  • Sugars: Hamamelose
  • Essential oil: with safrole, ester and alcohol

punto rojo More information on witch-hazel

This article was endorsed by Montserrat Enrich - Journalist specializing in edible wild plants and plant uses.
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

23 October, 2021

Other interesting articles

This material is for informational purposes only. In case of doubt, consult the doctor.
"Botanical-online" is not responsible for damages caused by self-medication.