witch hazel


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witch hazel,

common name for some members of the Hamamelidaceae, a family of trees and shrubs found mostly in Asia. The family includes the large genus (Corylopsis) of winter hazels, and the witch hazels (genus Hamamelis), sweet gums (Liquidambar), and witch elders (Fothergilla), the latter three genera represented by species in E North America as well as in Asia. The American witch hazel (H. virginiana) is a fall-blooming shrub or small tree found E of the Rockies. Its ripening fruits discharge their seeds by a characteristic explosive action, often shooting them several feet. The plant seems to have been named for the resemblance of its leaves to those of the hazel, and the witch hazel branch, like that of the hazel, has been used as a divining roddivining rod
or dowser,
stick used in searching for underground water or minerals. This form of divination is still in common use in many parts of the world. The instrument is typically a forked twig.
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. The name "witch hazel" is applied also to an astringent liniment obtained from the leaves and bark of the plant. The sweet gums are characterized by their star-shaped leaves, their unusually brilliant and varied autumn coloring, and their round fruits with hornlike projections. The hard wood is used for cabinetmaking and for various building purposes. The bark, especially that of Asian species, is a source of storax or styrax, a fragrant balsambalsam
, fragrant resin obtained from various trees. The true balsams are semisolid and insoluble in water, but they are soluble in alcohol and partly so in hydrocarbons.
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 used in expectorants and perfumes and sometimes in chewing gum. Witch hazel is classified in the division MagnoliophytaMagnoliophyta
, division of the plant kingdom consisting of those organisms commonly called the flowering plants, or angiosperms. The angiosperms have leaves, stems, and roots, and vascular, or conducting, tissue (xylem and phloem).
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, class Magnoliopsida, order Hamamelidales, family Hamamelidaceae.

witch hazel

[′wich ‚hā·zəl]
(materials)
A water extract from the dried leaves of the witch hazel shrub (Hamamelis virginiana); a solution of 14% alcohol with 1% witch hazel extract is commonly known as witch hazel; used as a tonic and sedative.

witch hazel

, wych-hazel
1. any of several trees and shrubs of the genus Hamamelis, esp H. virginiana, of North America, having ornamental yellow flowers and medicinal properties: family Hamamelidaceae
2. an astringent medicinal solution containing an extract of the bark and leaves of H. virginiana, applied to treat bruises, inflammation, etc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Witch hazels are prized for their shapely outline, which is a spreading vase-shaped habit with zigzag crooked branches and also for their spicysweet, scented blooms, which some people describe as citrus-like.
Finally, back to the Chinese witch hazel or Hamamelis mollis, which caught my attention in Belgium.
Witch hazel grows to around 3.7m (12ft) and should be planted in moist, well-drained, neutral to acid soil in sun or dappled shade.
Klorane's cornflower line has been on the market for 30 years; the new 100% biodegradable wipes are also infused with witch hazel water, glycerin and Vitamin E.
Scientists from London's Kingston University, in collaboration with Neal's Yard Remedies, a brand of beauty products in Britain, recently have "rediscovered" some of the benefits of rose, white tea, and witch hazel. Their research suggests that these plants contain a number of naturally occurring substances that appear to block inflammatory processes.
Patricia Anderson, who organizes the school's annual Community Reading Day chose several books that are in season with the upcoming Halloween festivities including: "Witch Hazel," read by Wallace; "Which Witch is Which?," read by Dubrule; "The Widow's Broom," read by Blandin; and "The Owl who Became the Moon," read by Ellis.
DeFrang says that sales of Dickinson's witch hazel are up dramatically, even in the struggling economy.
"We're offering retailers the opportunity to have a product with the quality found in specialty and department stores but at a reasonable and affordable price." A venerable skin care product with origins in the culture of Native Americans is witch hazel.
Upon its inception, the company merged the two heritage witch hazel brands of Dickinson's and T.N.
Your eyes are bigger than your real estate.I now have three superb shrubs in pots, a witch hazel, an edgeworthia and a magnolia, and IAAEm not sure where I will put them.