Witch hazel in winter

witch hazel shrub

This is the time of year that seems the darkest, when it feels like the warmer days of spring will never, ever come.

But some bright spots do exist amidst the bare branches of winter. On Sunday, Feb. 28, the Morris Arboretum is hosting a day of fun and exploration centered on the vibrantly colored witch hazel shrub that blooms from fall through winter.

Traditionally, extracts from the witch hazel bark and leaves have been used as an astringent to fight everything from acne and insect bites, to swollen hands and laryngitis. Now, it’s time to see a different side of the plant—as one of the first harbingers of spring.

From noon until 2 p.m., the Arboretum will hold a treasure hunt so people can explore the many varieties of witch hazel growing at the Chestnut Hill location. Afterwards, patrons can stop by the Visitors Center for a craft session.

For more information, call the Arboretum at 215-247-5777 or go to www.morrisarboretum.org.

Originally published on February 4, 2010