Shrubs or small trees, deciduous; branches with 1 prophyll, young branches tomentose; buds naked, tomentose. Leaves petiolate; stipules caducous, leaving small scars; leaf blade thinly leathery or papery, asymmetrical, margin entire or undulate-dentate, venation pinnate, 2 basal lateral veins usually with tertiary veins. Inflorescence capitate, or shortly spicate, axillary, 3–4-flowered. Flowers bisexual. Sepals 4, ovate, pubescent. Petals 4, yellow, greenish or red, straplike, circinate in bud. Stamens 4; filaments short; anthers ovoid, thecae 1-sporangiate, each dehiscing by 1 valve; staminodes 4, alternating with stamens, scalelike, producing nectar. Ovary semi-inferior; ovules 1 per locule; styles very short. Capsules woody, dehiscing above middle by two 2-lobed valves; endocarp loose from woody exocarp. Seeds ellipsoid; endosperm fleshy. 2n = 24.
Shrubs or small trees , suckering or bearing stolons, not aromatic and resinous; twigs, young leaves, and flower buds stellate-pubescent. Bark gray to gray-brown, smooth or slightly roughened. Dormant buds naked, stellate-pubescent; terminal bud and 1 of each pair of lateral buds stalked, with 2 subtending scales. Leaves short-petiolate. Leaf blade broadly elliptic to obovate, pinnately veined, base oblique, cuneate, margins repand to sinuate, apex rounded to acute or short-acuminate. Inflorescences axillary, (1-)3(-5)-flowered, stalked clusters. Flowers bisexual, appearing before or with leaves; calyx lobes 4, reflexed, adnate to ovary; petals 4, yellow or orange to deep red, liguliform, circinnate in bud, notched or truncate, sometimes pointed; stamens 4, very short within cup; anthers introrse, dehiscing by 2 valves hinged adaxially on connective; staminodes 4, opposite petals, bearing nectar; styles 2, subulate, spreading to recurved. Capsules solitary or 2-3 together, fused with persistent tubular calyx, stylar beaks very short, loculicidally 2-valved, woody, appressed stellate-pubescent, explosively dehiscent. Seeds 2 per capsule, black, glossy, bony, not winged. x = 12.
"Fls perfect, 4-merous, with linear pet and small, triangular sep; stamens 4, opposite and much shorter than the sep, alternating with scale- like staminodes; styles 2, short; ovule 1 per cell, suspended, anatropous; capsule half- inferior, pubescent; tall shrubs with toothed lvs, the fls in short-peduncled axillary clusters. 6, N. Amer. and e. Asia."
Bradford, J. L. and D. L. Marsh. 1977. Comparative studies of the witch hazels Hamamelis virginiana and H. vernalis. Proc. Arkansas Acad. Sci. 31: 29-31. De Steven, D. 1983. Floral ecology of witch-hazel (Hamamelis virginiana). Michigan Bot. 22(4): 163-171. Fulling, E. H. 1953. American witch hazel--History, nomenclature, and modern utilization. Econ. Bot. 7(4): 359-389. Jenne, G. E. 1966. A Study of Variation in North American Hamamelis L. (Hamamelidaceae). M.S. thesis. Vanderbilt University. Sargent, C. S. 1890-1902. The Silva of North America.... 14 vols. Boston and New York. Vol. 5, pp. 3-5. Sargent, C. S. [1902-]1905-1913. Trees and Shrubs.... 2 vols. Boston and New York. Vol. 2, pp. 137-138. Shoemaker, D. N. 1905. On the development of Hamamelis virginiana. Bot. Gaz. 39: 248-266. Steyermark, J. A. 1934. Hamamelis virginiana in Missouri. Rhodora 36: 97-100. Steyermark, J. A. 1963. Flora of Missouri. Ames.
|Witch-hazel [Greek name used by Hippocrates for medlar, Mespilus germanica Linnaeus]|