Herbal Remedy: The leaves
and bark are astringent, tonic, and sedative.
Used for minor cuts,
Insect stings and bites.
Dowsing Rod: A limb from this
Shrub was a favorite
of persons who used it to search for underground Water.
This 12-foot Autumn-blooming
woodland Shrub has Blooms which look like yellow wood
zig-zagging horizontal Branches. The blooming begins about the time the
brilliant yellow Leaves fall in the first weeks of October.
This is followed by clusters
of 3 green Seed Pods which will turn brown and ripen late the
Summer. Each of the 3 Pods contains 2 seeds, which for all the world
like black miniature wooden Dutch Shoes. When the Seeds are fully
they are violently ejected more than 20 feet into the undergrowth to
and perpetuate their species.
Top insert shows the immature Seed Pod which
will ripen one year later.
Bottom insert is a closeup of a Bloom with
its 4 yellow Petals.
Top right: Twin Seeds peek out of their Pod,
awaiting the propulsion which will send
them to their new home. The copper Penny indicates their size.
Center right: Evidenced by the
holes, these 3 seeds have become home and/or food for
Bottom right: These are perfect candidates
Witch Hazel may be mistaken for
Bush, which also has Yellow Blooms when trees are bare of
also grows in moist woodlands. But Spice Bush blooms in very early
and is easily identified by scratching its fragrant. spicy bark.
in your damp, shady flower bed.
You may notice
growth on the Leaves which resembles a 3/8" red or black Cone
on time of year). This is the home of the Aphid (Hormaphis hamamelidis)
which injected the leaf with a specialized chemical to form the Gall,
her 50+ female offspring.
A small hole underneath the leaf
directly below the Gall, indicates that they have matured and flown
to distribute their species in a complex life cycle of three
that involves Birch Trees.
The dissected closeup on the
right reveals several occupants inside, and a pile of their white waxy
excretion. The walls of this protective home provide the perfect
and sustenance for these tiny Creatures.
Should you decide to sprout
this Seed, mimic the woodland conditions where it was found. This
equates to damp, shaded, and slightly acidic Soil. Collect only those
which are black and "hard as nails". Get about 8 or 12.
These seeds have hard coats and
may sprout quicker if their coats are nicked with a Fingernail File or
Emery Board. Be careful not to damage the underlying tissue,
which may allow bacteria to invade the seed.
Plant them at various depths
from 1/8" to 1/2" to provide different conditions so there is a better
chance that at least one will sprout and survive. Cover them with
Woodland Soil from the place of their origin. A square foot of Hardware
Cloth laid on top of each Seed will help deter hungry Creatures.