witch hazel

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See also: witch-hazel


Hamamelis virginiana
Leaf, twig, flower, seed

Alternative forms[edit]


See Middle English wiche, from Old English wice (pliant, bendable, weak). Folk etymology refers to use by witches and other sorcerers of folkish magic using the plant in potions; however, compare German Zaubernuss (witch hazel, literally 'magic nut').


witch hazel (countable and uncountable, plural witch hazels)

  1. (countable) Any of several small deciduous trees, of the genus Hamamelis, having yellow flowers
    1. (US) Hamamelis virginiana (eastern North America)
    2. (US) Hamamelis vernalis (Ozarks).
  2. (uncountable) An extract of the bark and/or leaves of this plant, used as an astringent



See also[edit]