Witch Hazel: Halloween Flower

Posted by on Oct 31, 2017 in fall, flowers, holiday, Unmowed Blog | 0 comments

Witch hazel is a plant of many uses, especially handy if you need to work magic or perform a spell. The wood is excellent for making magic wands. It’s the wood of choice for dowsing rods, those mystical tools that help you locate water deep underground. An extract of the bark is useful in banishing spells, to make something go away. Carrying a sprig of witch hazel (according to several witchcraft websites) is a magical way to cool the passions.
More prosaically, a bottled decoction of the leaves and bark (obtainable at your local pharmacy, no magic required) is great for soothing poison ivy, sunburn, and bug bites.
But the most amazing thing about witch hazel is that it flowers long after every other plant is done with blooming.

If witch hazel bloomed in May, it would be totally overlooked by every person walking past, and more to the point, overlooked by any and all pollinators. But the fact that it blooms so ridiculously late in the year is what makes it a plant to remember. Witch hazel is pollinated by moths. There are several species of night-flying moths that depend on its nectar as a crucial food source–there isn’t that much nectar out there in the bitter end of autumn.

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