FAMILY :: HAMAMELIDACEAE
WITCH HAZEL: Astringent, haemostatic, and the forked branches of this large, hardy shrub were used as divining rods.
“Among the Maya we found a great number of books, written with their characters, and because they contained nothing but superstitions and falsehoods about the Devil, we burned them allâ€¦”
— Bishop Diego de Landa, 1561
“This plant, about which was formerly draped, by those versed in the occult arts, a veil of deep mystery, and whose forked branches were used as a divining rod while searching for water and ores, grows profusely in the damp woods of Canada and the US, flowering in October and ripening its fruit the following summer. The many varied uses of a watery infusion of Witch Hazel bark were fully known to the aborigines, whose knowledge of medicinal flora has been strangely correct as since proven.”
— Charles Millspaugh, American Medicinal Plants, 1892