Cheryl Harner's Flora and Butterfly Blog
Weedpicker's Journal: Discover the native plants of Ohio and the butterflies that utilize them.
Mellow Yellow October 28, 2007
Can you resist one more photo of beautiful fall foliage? Local woodlots have become a "Where's Waldo" puzzle for me, as I try to sort fall colors to specific tree species. The maples, particularly, sugar maples, Acer saccharum really throw themselves into decorating for Halloween. Pumpkin orange, corn colored yellows and every shade in between become their uniform of the day. The sassafras (as seen in the last post) and the sumacs take up the red tones, while a some ashes and Crimson King maples, a non-native landscape plant, haul in the purples and bronze.

I have to wonder if anyone can predict the composition of a woodlot's species, based on a glance at its fall colors? It would be a virtual "Name that Tune" of fall trees. :)

The tune of today's blog is Mellow Yellow. This is not a tree you are likely to see in landscaping or even home woodlots. I had the good fortune to photograph this Witch Hazel, Hamamelis virginiana while visiting the falls at Mohican Outdoor School, under the guise of land trust work. Don't be fooled, my work is all play :)

Be certain to click on the link above on the Witch Hazel's name, as it will show you a photo of the tree in bloom. Surprisingly, it is blooming now! Witch Hazel's fall-to-winter blooms seem a bit out of step with the rest of nature, but it is one more reason to take note of these trees.

Native American's had many medicinal uses for the seeds, barks and infusions from this tree, and its fork limbs were commonly used as a divining rod or water-witch. Placed in the hands of experienced guides, they were used for dowsing, or finding underground water. Whether you choose to believe in dowsing or in the medicinal properties of Hamamelis, no one could deny its outstanding fall color.
2007-10-28 17:24:01 GMT
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