Corylus Americana – American Hazelnut Info Sheet

Corylus americana

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COMMON NAME:  American Hazelnut, Filbert

SCIENTIFIC NAME:  Corylus Americana (Greek:  “korpus” = helmet, for the involucre or bracts surrounding the fruit)

FLOWER:  Monecious.  The male (sterile) flowers are drooping catkins.  The female (fertile) flowers are tiny, red and star-like produced from scaly buds and clustered at tips of branches.


SIZE:  Large, thicket-forming deciduous shrub from 3 – 10 feet tall.  

BEHAVIOR:  Leaves appear after spring bloom.  Forms clumps with the roots close to the surface.

SITE REQUIREMENTS:  Tolerates open shade and dry, somewhat disturbed sites.  Does best in some sunlight.

NATURAL RANGE:  Maine to Saskatchewan, south to Georgia, Missouri and Oklahoma.

SPECIAL FEATURES:  One of the first plants to bloom in spring.  Twigs are hairy.  Leaves are 2-5 inches, double-toothed, hairy, on alternate branches.  It has a lovely fall color when planted in sunlight.   The nuts are edible for humans but sought after by small animals.  Expect a good seed crop every 2-3 years.

SUGGESTED CARE:  Easily grown.  Protect from rabbits with a fence.

COMPANION PLANTS:  Grey dogwood, black cherry, white ash, shagbark hickory, red and black oak, wild geranium, agrimony, hog peanut, strawberry, Solomon’s plume.