Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Plants in Early American Gardens - Bare Root Witch Hazel

 Bare Root Witch Hazel (Hamamelis virginiana)
Bare Root Witch Hazel (Hamamelis virginiana)

This large, fragrant flowering native shrub is the traditional source of the scent for Witch Hazel liniment. 

Potted plants were sent to England by John Clayton of Virginia, in 1743, and arrived “at Christmas and were then in full bloom.” The recipient, naturalist Mark Catesby, must have been impressed at a time when the majority of plants sent on long sea voyages perished. Catesby illustrated Witch Hazel in his major work, The Natural History of Carolina, Florida and the Bahaman Islands, published in sections beginning in 1729. This shrub is not attractive to deer.

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