Friday, November 18, 2011

Hamamelis virginiana (American Witchhazel): Blanton Creek WMA, Harris County, Georgia

November 9th, 2011. On our way back from the Cahaba River National Wildlife Refuge in Alabama, we stopped at the Blanton Creek WMA in Harris County, Georgia. In addition to the many common wildflowers we saw, we stumbled on a Hamamelis virginiana (American Witchhazel) tree beside a small creek crossing Cut Through Road. Hamamelis virginiana is one of two Hamamelis species that are native to the United States; the other is Hamamelis vernalis (Ozark Witchhazel). Hamamalis virginiana is known by the common names American Witchhazel, Witch-hazel, American Witch-hazel.

We drove north on Cut Through Road without seeing the tree. On the return trip, we stopped at the creek to take photographs.

The creek on Cut Though Road, looking east.

The creek, looking west.

The Fall color on the west side of the road and north side of the creek was exquisite.

I happened to look up. It took a few seconds before I realized I was looking at Witchhazel in bloom. I’d seen photographs posted by bloggers in states ‘up north’ but didn’t think that I would ever see. This was a tree about 20 – 25 feet high and was leafless.

A closer view of a cluster of flowers

A closer view of a few flowers. There are a couple of unopened buds in the lower left of the photo.

Unfortunately, Harris County is quite a distance from Walton County where we live, so I probably won’t see the fruit this year. In a couple of places on our trip But… Another flower crossed off my bucket list.

Hamamelis virginiana
(American Witchhazel) is native to the eastern United States and Canada. In Canada it’s found in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Prince Edward’s Island and Nova Scotia. In the U.S., it’s found in states bounded by Maine west to Minnesota and south to Texas and Florida. In Georgia, it’s found in counties throughout the state; it’s not listed as occurring in Harris County.

Click on an image to view a larger image


- United States Department of Agriculture Plants Database: Hamamelis virginiana (American Witchhazel)

- University of North Carolina Herbarium: Hamamelis virginiana

Identification resources:

- Southeastern Flora: Hamamelis virginiana (American Witch-hazel)

- Natural and Naturalized Plants of the Carolinas and Georgia: Hamamelis virginiana (Witch-hazel, American Witch-hazel)

- Missouri Plants: Hamamelis virginiana

Related posts:

- 2010: Year Of The Wildflower – Wildflower Index
- Blanton Creek Wildlife Management Area, Harris County, Georgia: Fall Wildflowers


Johnny Nutcase said...

this looks like a happy place, nice shots!

JSK said...

This was a wonderful little spot in a vast expanse of pine forests. I'm glad we spent the time driving several roads in this WMA