witch hazel

witch hazel
/wich" hay'zeuhl/
1. a shrub, Hamamelis virginiana, of eastern North America, having toothed, egg-shaped leaves and small, yellow flowers. Cf. witch hazel family.
2. a liquid extraction from the leaves or bark of this plant mixed with water and alcohol, used externally as a liniment for inflammations and bruises and as an astringent.
[1535-45; witch, var. of wych (see WYCH ELM)]

* * *

 any of six species of the genus Hamamelis (family Hamamelidaceae), all of which are shrubs and small trees that are native to eastern North America and eastern Asia. Some are grown for their yellow flowers, with four narrow, twisted ribbonlike petals, borne on warm winter days or in early spring. Witch hazels produce small clusters of four-petalled flowers borne close to the branches and have deciduous, prominently veined, oval, toothed leaves.

      American, or common, witch hazel (H. virginiana), up to 4 1/2 metres (15 feet) tall, bears its flowers in late fall, with the explosive fruits ripening in the following year. Its yellow, cuplike calyx (the collection of sepals) persists through the winter. The common name refers to the forked twigs that were sometimes used for water-witching or dowsing to locate underground water. The fragrant liniment witch hazel is made from the dried leaves and sometimes from the twigs and bark. Vernal witch hazel (H. vernalis), about two metres tall, blooms in late winter or early spring.

* * *

Universalium. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Поможем написать реферат

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Witch hazel — is the name of:*Witch hazel: Hamamelis , a genus of decorative shrubs in North America and east Asia *Witch hazel (astringent): the astringent topical medicine derived from the Hamamelis plant *Witch Hazel (Disney): a Disney cartoon and comics… …   Wikipedia

  • Witch hazel — Hazel Ha zel (h[=a] z l), n. [OE. hasel, AS. h[ae]sel; akin to D. hazelaar, G. hazel, OHG. hasal, hasala, Icel. hasl, Dan & Sw. hassel, L. corylus, for cosylus.] 1. (Bot.) A shrub or small tree of the genus {Corylus}, as the {Corylus avellana},… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • witch hazel — n. [altered (infl. by WITCH) < wyche hazel < ME wyche < OE wice, applied to trees with pliant branches, akin to ON veikr, WEAK] 1. any of a genus (Hamamelis) of small North American and Asiatic trees and shrubs of the witch hazel family; …   English World dictionary

  • witch-hazel — witch .hazel n [U and C] [Date: 1700 1800; Origin: witch hazel type of elm tree (16 19 centuries), from witch tree with bendy branches (11 19 centuries), from Old English wice, wic] a substance used for treating small wounds on the skin, or the… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Witch-hazel — Witch ha zel, n. [See {Wych elm}, and {Hazel}.] (Bot.) The wych elm. (b) An American shrub or small tree ({Hamamelis Virginica}), which blossoms late in autumn. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • witch hazel — (Amer.) n. wychhazel, type of flowering tree; astringent solution containing an extract from the witch hazel tree …   English contemporary dictionary

  • witch hazel — (also wych hazel) ► NOUN 1) a shrub with fragrant yellow or orange flowers. 2) an astringent lotion made from the bark and leaves of this plant. ORIGIN for wych, see WYCH ELM(Cf. ↑W) …   English terms dictionary

  • witch hazel — witch ,hazel noun 1. ) uncount a liquid used for rubbing on small cuts or injuries 2. ) count or uncount a small tree with yellow flowers that have a pleasant smell …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • witch hazel — 1540s, probably from O.E. wice wych elm (from wican to bend ) + hæsel, used for any bush of the pine family. The North American bush, from which a soothing lotion is made, was so called from 1670s …   Etymology dictionary

  • Witch-hazel — Taxobox name = Witch hazel image width = 240px image caption = Hamamelis virginiana regnum = Plantae divisio = Magnoliophyta classis = Magnoliopsida ordo = Saxifragales familia = Hamamelidaceae genus = Hamamelis genus authority = Gronov. ex L.… …   Wikipedia

  • witch hazel — noun 1. any of several shrubs or trees of the genus Hamamelis; bark yields an astringent lotion • Syn: ↑witch hazel plant, ↑wych hazel, ↑wych hazel plant • Hypernyms: ↑shrub, ↑bush • Hyponyms: ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”