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There is only one native speciies in the Family Hamamelidaceae in Nova Scotia

Hamamelidaceae: Hamamelis virginiana (L.) Gray.

Witch-hazel is a woody shrub/small tree common in the understory of deciduous and mixed forests in Nova Scotia but becomes less common toward the eastern part of province and is uncommon in Cape Breton.1 The alternately borne leaves have wavy margins and are slightly asymmetrical at the base. Flowers with 4 ribbon-like, yellow petals appear from mid-September to November in Nova Scotia. The fruit is a grayish, downy woody capsule which requires until the late summer/early fall of the year after fertilization to fully develop. At maturity the fruit splits open and 1- 2 seeds are forcibly ejected. H. virginiana is native the eastern U.S. south to Florida and Texas and to southern Canada from Ontario to Nova Scotia and PEI. It is reported to be present but "critically imperiled" in P.E.I.
Sources | Notes & Refs | Selected Web Resources | Line Drawing

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June 28, 2006. Halifax County: Point Pleasant Park, Halifax.
Photographer: JackPine. Notes
Hamamelis virginiana,Leaves

Leaves and developing fruits.

Hamamelis virginiana,Developing fruits

Note persistent sepals on the developing fruits


Sep. 13, 2006 Halifax County: Point Pleasant Park, Halifax.
Photographer: JackPine.
Hamamelis virginiana,Habit

Habit. Thiis specimen was in a heavily shaded, moist location.

Hamamelis virginiana,Open fruit

Open fruit. Bar is 1 cm.

Hamamelis virginiana,Flower Buds

Flower buds

Hamamelis virginiana,Developing fruits and buds of new flowers

Maturing fruit and new flower buds. Bar is 10 mm.

Hamamelis virginiana,Leaf upper surface

Early flowers on a plant in a nearby more exposed location; upper surface of leaf.

Hamamelis virginiana, Leaf lower surface

Leaf lower surface.

Hamamelis virginiana, FlowersHamamelis virginiana, Flower

Oct. 30, 2007. Halifax County: "The Oaks" woods, south end Halifax.
Photographer: JackPine.
Hamamelis virginiana,Habit

Habit. No fruits from previous year remained; plants were still flowering.

Hamamelis virginiana,Twig

Twig with terminal bud. Bar is 1 cm.

Dec. 1, 2007. Halifax County: Point Pleasant Park.
Photographer: JackPine.
Hamamelis virginiana, witch hazel

Selected Web Resources

Notes & References

  1. In the Flora of Nova Scotia, 3rd ed, it is described as ″Scattered in Yarmouth County, Common in Kings and Lunenburg counties, becoming more infrequent eastward, and found only as far as the Strait of Canso.″ Eugene Quigley commented (personal communication, Sep. 2009) that in his work with Natural Resources he had found it twice in Inverness county.