You might assume the Witch Hazel fruit and flower to be dangerous, but you will be shocked to know their benefits.
So follow along to learn more about growing the Witch Hazel flower and fruit and ways to harvest the benefits.
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What Do Witch Hazel Flowers Look Like?
Witch Hazel is a common term for the species of flowering shrub belonging to the genus Hamamelis.
You’ll find different species of Hamamelis growing from zone 4 to zone 8.
Interestingly, Witch Hazel has a long history of medicinal and therapeutic use due to the presence of tannin. Tannin is a natural compound with astringent and anti-inflammatory properties.
So Witch Hazel is good for sunburns, insect bites, and minor skin irritation.
Not just that, you can use the Witch Hazel for cold sore. For that, you need to boil the flowers for 5-8 minutes in a glass of water and gargle.
Pollination in Witch Hazel Flower
As much as we adore the quirky Witch Hazel flower, getting their fruit is difficult.
During the winter, common pollinators like bee, fly, and beetles are not much prevalent. However, the sweet and mild fragrance from the flowers does attract a few active ones.
Witch Hazel Flower to Fruit Capsule
Upon successful pollination, the Witch Hazel flower begins fruit production.
These pods encapsulate developing seeds which take several months to mature. Usually, the Witch Hazel capsules mature around the fall.
At maturity, capsules are woody and dry with small dark brown to black seeds.
Meanwhile, the seeds have hard outer shells which forcefully break the capsule and disperse in its surrounding.
And when the seeds get a suitable environment, they are likely to germinate and grow into a new Witch Hazel.
Normally, Witch Hazel flower, fruit and produces seed capsules in about 6 to 8 month depending on several environmental factors.
How And When To Harvest Witch Hazel?
Unlike most flowering plants, you do not harvest the Witch Hazel fruit or flower.
The best time to harvest bark from healthy mature branches is in the late fall or winter when the plant is dormant.
For that, you take a garden knife and carefully peel the outer bark without removing the entire bark around the branch. This allows the plant to heal and regrow its bark.
Further, if you want the seeds, you must gather the capsules before they split open and disperse.
When the pods turn brown or dark from green, it’s the sign for you to pick the pods, which is generally around fall or winter.
After harvesting the pods, collect and store the seeds in a cool, dry place.
From Editorial Team
Provide Winter Protection!
To enjoy the benefits of the Witch Hazel plant, from flower and fruit to its bark, protect them from harsh winter in their early stages.
While a mature Hamamelis is cold-hardy, use a burlap or fleece blanket to cover the young ones against frost injuries.