Ozark Witch-Hazel (Shaw Nature Reserve)

January 11, 2015

One of Missouri’s whimsical winter plants, Ozark witch-hazel, is currently blooming in the Whitmire Wildflower Garden at Shaw Nature Reserve. Forked switches of this native plant have long been used by Ozark “witch wigglers” or “water witches” (water finders) to find the best places to dig wells. Extract from the shrub’s leaf, bark and twigs is used in shaving lotions and ointments for treating bruises and sprains. (Reference Information from Missouri Department of Conservation).

As always, please tread softly when viewing, photographing and “sniffing” flowers at Shaw Nature Reserve. If you need help locating one of the witch-hazel shrubs, check with a staff member and they will be happy to point you in the right direction. Thanks to Darla at the Shaw Nature Reserve Facebook Page for bringing this early bloomer to our attention.

Thanks for looking,


Email:  Natureframes@Rocketmail.Com

Gallery of Photos: Danny Brown Photography

8 comments on “Ozark Witch-Hazel (Shaw Nature Reserve)”

  1. “WOW”, that’s a very strange looking plant, but also very interesting. Thank’s for sending it to me.


  2. Hi Danny, thanks so much for bringing your viewers our way via Nature Frames! We truly appreciate it. That said, I think that your post below will confuse folks if they come out to SNR to see Ozark witchazel. It is in fact not found throughout the woods at SNR, it is only found in the woods within the Whitmire Wildflower Garden (at SNR) where they were planted. It is not found growing wild anywhere on our property. That said it grows wild not far from here along parts of the Bourbeuse and upper Meramec rivers. Hope this clarification is helpful.

    Best regards!


  3. Great picture and information. Thanks for sharing.

    Sent from Windows Mail

  4. Great write up Danny. I am doing a photowalk at SNR, this is one of the items of recommended focus.
    Neat plant/flower and bio history of the species.

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