Part of witch-hazel  family Hamamelidaceae.

Native to the 🇺🇸 USA, near or east of the Mississippi River;  extending into parts of 🇨🇦 Canada and Oklahoma, and (probably in canyons) Texas and 🇲🇽 México.   🗺 Map by county (🇺🇸 USA-48), 🗺 map (North America, Central America).  Adobe Acrobat Reader file

This plant flowers very late in the growing season (September to November), after this and most deciduous plants have 🍃︎ dropped their leaves.  (Sister-species Ozark witchhazel  Hamamelis vernalis flowers very early in the 🌱︎⚘ spring.)

After flowering, the fruit takes a full year to ripen, bursting open to fling the seed or two, up to 10 m (33 ft) away!

Uses by native peoples
(Ethnobotany database)
  The leaves and bark can be made into an astringent — a chemical that constricts and dries body tissues, such as skin.  In this case, people make a liquid to put on the skin to treat insect bites, other skin inflammation, and sore muscles.  "Medicinal Plants And Herbs" article on this plant from Steven Foster.

Hamamelis hosts caterpillars of 63 species
of butterflies and moths, in some areas.

In 🇨🇦 🇺🇸 🇲🇽 North America's Midwest, often planted in a middle story or "small trees layer"[?] of a woodland plant community.   Use as small tree is a small yard (Pennsylvania).  Adobe Acrobat Reader file (page 54)   Growing info (SW Michigan).  Adobe Acrobat Reader file (page 2)

Learn more about American witch-hazel Hamamelis virginiana

🔍︎ 🔍︎ images Discover Life Encyclopedia of Life Floridata Michigan Flora (Minnesota) Wild Flower Garden Minnesota Wildflowers Missouri Botanical Garden Missouri Plants Native Plant Trust Flora of North America NRCS PLANTS db USFS USFS plant of the week Wikipedia