Plant of the Sea­son

This England - - News - Ha­mamelis

Aplant that re­ally bright­ens up the gar­den in win­ter with the bright, spi­dery flow­ers glow­ing even in the cold­est con­di­tions. Th­ese small de­cid­u­ous trees orig­i­nate from Asia, North Amer­ica, Ja­pan and China and there are now many sizes and colours avail­able.

Com­monly called witch hazel, the name is be­lieved to have orig­i­nated from the Old English word ‘wice’ mean­ing bend­able. An­other ex­pla­na­tion is that as the twigs have long been used as wa­ter di­vin­ing rods, the plant may have been as­so­ci­ated with witches and magic. The plant is also called the Epiphany tree as it flow­ers around Epiphany (6th Jan­uary).

Ha­mamelis vir­gini­ana is na­tive to North Amer­ica and its leaves and bark have tra­di­tion­ally been used to make skincare prod­ucts to soothe skin prob­lems such as eczema, bruises and nappy rash. How­ever, the usual va­ri­ety found in this coun­try is Ha­mamelis mol­lis which has sul­phur-

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