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Corylus avellana

European Hazelnut, European Filbert
Deciduous, Edible fruit, Shrubs, Trees


Although usually grown for their edible nuts (see Filbert, Hazelnut), includes very attractive ornamental shrubs or small trees. The plants have separate female and male flowers. Female blossoms are inconspicuous; male ones are showy, appearing in pendent catkins on bare branches in winter or early spring. Leaves are roundish to oval, with toothed margins. Thin branches as needed in late winter; remove suckers when you see them.

Corylus avellana

Grows 10 to 15 ft. high and wide. This is one of the species grown commercially for nuts (for those descriptions, see Hazelnut). There are many ornamental varieties in this group.


Rounded growth to 8–10 ft. tall and wide. Grown for fantastically gnarled and twisted branches and twigs, revealed after its 2 to 2 1/2-in. leaves turn yellow and drop in autumn. Branches are used in flower arrangements. Plants are almost always grafted, so suckers arising from the base below the graft should be removed; they won’t have contorted form.

'Red Dragon'

Red new growthis held long into the seasonbut eventually fades to green. Branches are contorted. Resistant to eastern filbert blight (see Hazelnut). ‘Red Majestic’ is similar but may not hold its red color as long and is not disease-resistant.

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