Common Witchhazel is a deciduous shrub 12-18′ tall, and sometimes taller, famous for producing its aromatic, crinkly yellow flowers as it drops its foliage in late October/early November. Seeds from the previous season are ready for dispersal at the same time, and are expelled with some force from their capsules. Witchhazel can be single-stemmed with a trunk up to 1 foot across, or have several somewhat twisted basal stems, forming an irregular open crown. It occurs throughout eastern North America, from Nova Scotia to Florida and from the Great Lakes to eastern Texas. Early settlers learned from Native Americans how to use forked limbs of the Witchhazel as dowsing or divining rods, a practice that persists into our science-dominated era. Also, the bark is still gathered in large quantities in the Southern Appalachians, as the source for witchhazel liniment. But this interesting shrub is grown most often because of its spark of fresh, bright yellow flowers at a moment when all else of color has faded from the woods. Witchhazel is an understory plant and greatly prefers rich, moist soils in dappled sunlight, as on a north-facing slope, though full light can stimulate more flowering if soil moisture is sufficient.