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Corylus americana

Common Name(s):
American hazelnut
Edible Plants, Native Plants, Shrubs

Corylus americana, commonly called the American hazelnut is a low maintenance deciduous shrub from the Betulaceae family.  Showy blooms appear March-April.   Fall foliage color is variable, ranging from attractive combinations of orange, rose, purplish red, yellow and green to undistinguished, dull yellowish green. Tolerates clay soil.  Can be used as a screen or a background plant in a bed but looks best in a woodland or naturalized garden where it can be allowed to spread.  The bark is gray-brown and smooth with a criss-cross netted pattern.

Regions:  Mountain, Piedmont

Seasons of Interest: 

  Leaf:  Fall                   Blooms:  Winter/early spring            Nut/Fruit/Seed:  Late summer/fall

Wildlife Value:  This plant suffers damage from deer.  The nuts are eaten by songbirds, ruffed grouse, quail, wild turkeys, chipmunks, black bears, foxes, white-tailed deer, skunks, and squirrels.  The twigs and leaves are browsed by white-tailed deer.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: No serious insect or disease problems:  Can be visited by scale, leafhoppers and various foliage-eating caterpillars. Has occasional problems with leaf spots, blight, and crown gall.

10-16 ft.
The leaves of the American hazelnut are ovate, double-toothed, and dark green (3-6" long). Its fall color is quite variable, ranging from attractive combinations of orange, rose, purplish red, yellow and green to undistinguished, dull yellowish green.
The American hazelnut is monoecious. The male flowers appear in showy, 2-3" long, yellow-brown catkins and female flowers appear in small, reddish, inconspicuous catkins. Female flowers give way to small, egg-shaped, 1/2" long, edible nuts (maturing July-August) which are encased in leafy, ragged-edged bracts.
Deciduous shrub
The American hazelnut is easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Prompt removal of root suckers will help maintain plant appearance, and, if desired, help prevent thicket formation.
Full sun, part shade
The nuts are similar in flavor to the European filbert, and may be roasted and eaten or ground into flour, but are also commonly left for the squirrels and birds.
8-13 ft.
songbirds, deciduous, low maintenance, showy flower, hedge, shrub, edible fruit

NCCES plant id: 3190

Corylus americana Corylus americana
Cranbrook Science, CC BY - 2.0
Corylus americana Form
Kryzsztof Ziarnek, Kenraiz, CC-BY-SA-3.0
Corylus americana Bud
Rob Routledge, Sault College,, CC-BY-SA-3.0
Corylus americana Leaf
Kryzsztof Ziarnek, Kenraiz, CC-BY-SA-3.0
Corylus americana Corylus americana
Superior National Forest, CC-BY-SA-3.0
Corylus americana Corylus americana
Kristine Paulus, CC BY - 2.0