Tall shrubs, with alternate simple leaves, and deciduous stipules. Flowers in clusters or heads, often monoecious. Calyx 4-parted, adherent to the base of the ovary, the latter of 2 united carpels. Fruit a 2-beaked, 2-celled, woody pod, opening at the top. Petals 4, strap-shaped, inserted on the calyx. Stamens 8, 4 of them anther-bearing, the remainder reduced to scales. The only genus with us is

Hamame'lis

L. Witch-hazel. H. Virginia'na, L. Leaves obovate or oval, crenate or wavy-toothed, pubescent. Flowers yellow, appearing late in the autumn. - Damp woods, chiefly west of Toronto.