Plants That Bllom in Autumn/Winter: What Advantage to This?

I was perusing a plant catalog (I’m eager to get out in the garden); I noticed some witch hazelbushes for sale. I’ve seen these in the woods…the unusual thing about this species is that it blooms in the autumn (in my region , late November). What advantage is this? There are no insects around to pollinate…why would a plant pick such a late time to flower?

Witch hazel does have a peculiar pollination system. It is pollinated by “winter moths” of the genus Eupsilia, which can be active at quite low temperatures. Also, some flowers may be pollinated by late-flying bees and other insects that are active on warmer days. The advantage for the plant could be to avoid competition with other species for pollinators.