Witch Hazel Family: Hamamelidaceae
In the northeast, there is only one family member: you guessed it, witch hazel. Witch hazel is a shrub or small tree. For the native variety, small groups of flowers emerge in the fall with yellow, wavy, strap-like petals. Sepals are small and triangular. Winter hazel, not a native of the northeast, is often used by gardeners in this area for early spring color. Winter hazel blooms before the leaves emerge forming colorful groups of yellow, hanging flowers. The early blooms also attract needed pollinators. It is native of Asia. Winter blooming witch hazel, not to be confused with the rounded petals of winter hazel, is a hybrid, a cross between two Asian species.