OR maybe I should ask, What is the Queen of Winter. In the midwinter you just might see a small tree, no leaves but full of curious golden yellow tufts. As the sun shines and warms the day these tiny tufts open to show wispy fingers in response to the new warmth. These finger like flowers come in colors from yellow, to coral, to red and they have a lovely spicy citrus scent. What is this little tree you ask. It is Witch Hazel, a shrub or small tree with arching branches generally growing as a dense, multi-stemmed clump reaching heights of 20 to 30 feet and widths of 15 to 20 feet, however the shrub form typically does not grow over 12 to 15 feet tall. It is fondly known as the Queen of Winter.
Not only is Witch Hazel a colorful winter surprise, it also has a multitude of household and medicinal uses. Witch Hazel has been used to help everything from acne, to helping heal bruises and gum disease, to taking the sting out of sunburn. Witch Hazel is also used as a household cleaner, adhesive remover, glass and jewelry cleaner and a whole list of other uses.
The next time you see a little tree with colorful blooms in February, you’ll be able to say “that’s Witch Hazel, the Queen of Winter”.