Plant Guide > Trees > Witch Hazel and Sweet Gum

Witch Hazel and Sweet Gum


Trees with slender twigs and fibrous roots. Leaves simple, opposite, deciduous. Flowers with parts in four's, perfect or unisexual. Fruits woody 2-valued, 1, to 2-seeded capsules.

The relationship of the witch hazel and sweet gum is not obvious to the general observer. In fact, the common characters are such as only the keen eye of the botanist detects. The 2horned woody capsules joined together in the sweet gum seed ball is morphologically the same type as the solitary woody clipped seed capsule of the witch hazel.

Eighteen genera compose the subtropical family, Hamamelidaceae. Two genera, each with a single species, are native to North America. There are two or three species of Hamamelis in Eastern Asia. The four species of Liquidambar include one Mexican and two Asiatic species beside our own sweet gum.

Sweet Gum Tree
Witch Hazel Tree