Native to eastern North America the common witch-hazel is a small tree or large shrub. At maturity it can grow to 20 to 30 feet tall with a 15- to 20-foot spread. The leaves are alternate with an unequal, wavy margin, and hairy stem, turning an attractive yellow color in the fall. The bark is smooth and gray to gray-brown. In winter, bright yellow flowers with very slender petals (resemble yellow spiders) mature. The genus name Hamamelis comes from the Greek word hama for “at the same time” and melon which means “fruit” which refers to the fact that the plant can have both flowers and fruits appear at the same time, a somewhat rare feature.