Hamamelis virginiana is a small flowering tree in the Hamamelidaceae family. It blooms golden, threadlike flowers in the late autumn once the witch hazel leaves have dropped. Native Americans have traditionally used witch hazel leaf and bark for their beneficial properties for generations. Witch hazel leaf has an astringent and slightly bitter taste and can be steeped as witch hazel tea or used in tincturing.
Witch hazel is a leather-leafed deciduous shrub native to eastern United States. The bottoms of its leaves are dull gray, but the upward facing surfaces of the leaves are shiny green.
Witch hazel is easy to recognize in the woods in autumn because as other trees are losing their leaves, witch hazel is covered with threadlike, golden-yellow flowers. Both the bark and the leaves are used in herbal medicine.