As we welcome in the New Year we celebrate many firsts: first wedding, first child born, etc. Though there is one other ‘first’ that often goes unnoticed – the first flower bloom. Witch-hazel (Hamamelis sp) is a small native New York tree, which produces bright yellow flowers – in January! Native Americans took note of the unique plant and its medicinal value as they used it to treat swellings and bruises. It is still commonly used today as an astringent. Also known as Winterbloom, Witch-hazel flowers can also be orange or red and are often quite fragrant.
Happy New Year!