American Hazelnut (Corylus americana)

Common names:
Give a thumbs up American Hazelnut
Give a thumbs up American Hazel
Give a thumbs up American filbert
Give a thumbs up Hazelnut

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Shrub
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Partial or Dappled Shade
Partial Shade to Full Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Soil pH Preferences: Slightly acid (6.1 – 6.5)
Neutral (6.6 – 7.3)
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 4a -34.4 °C (-30 °F) to -31.7 °C (-25 °F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 9b
Plant Height: 15 to 18 feet
Plant Spread: 10 to 12 feet
Leaves: Good fall color
Deciduous
Fruit: Edible to birds
Fruiting Time: Late summer or early fall
Fall
Flowers: Showy
Inconspicuous
Other: The male flowers are quite noticeable, the female flowers are very tiny and hard to see.
Flower Color: Brown
Other: Very tiny red female flower. Brown catkins (male flower) in winter, turning cream colored when they open up in the spring.
Flower Time: Late winter or early spring
Uses: Windbreak or Hedge
Edible Parts: Fruit
Wildlife Attractant: Birds
Propagation: Seeds: Self fertile
Other info: Easily started from the unshelled nut.
Propagation: Other methods: Offsets
Pollinators: Wind
Containers: Not suitable for containers
Miscellaneous: Monoecious

Red female flower with male flowers (catkins)

This plant is tagged in:
Image Image

Comments:
Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Dec 29, 2017 1:02 PM

The American Hazelnut or Filbert is native from southern Maine down to northern Georgia-Alabama-Mississippi-Louisiana up through eastern Kansas & Nebraska to areas of North Dakota, southern Manitoba through most of Minnesota & Wisconsin, through southern Michigan and southeast Ontario, growing in upland woods and woodland edges. I saw a number of wild ones in central Wisconsin back in the 1980's, but otherwise I have not seen wild ones. I think the over-population of deer and the invasive Eurasian shrubs have lessened their once more common appearance in many locations. I planted two specimens that I bought at a native plant nursery here in southeast Pennsylvania in 2003, and they have been doing well since then. It grows in moist to dry sandy to heavy clay soils and can grow in deep shade or full sun. The American species differs from the very similar European Hazelnut by having slightly larger leaves to 6 inches long verses 4 inches; the American nuts are a little smaller of about 1/2 inch long verses 3/4 inch for the European; the American species has its husk bracts somewhat longer to twice as ling as the nut while the European has the bracts shorter to only slightly longer; and the American species gets a better autumn color more towards bright yellow to orange to red. The nuts are edible for people, but the squirrels beat me to the harvest. I have had some saplings come up in the yard from the squirrels planting them. Hazelnuts grow about 1.5 to 2 feet/year when young. The bark is smooth and gray. Over time, the stems become very thick together and one may have to selectively prune some out at ground level. It is easy to transplant with its shallow, fibrous root system, but it does send up a lot of ground suckers, which can be used for propagation. Many native nurseries sell some for naturalistic landscapes, but I have not seen them sold by most conventional nurseries, even big ones.

[ Reply to this comment | Give a thumbs up ]

Posted by TBGDN (Indiana - Zone 5a) on Oct 14, 2014 11:27 AM

The American Hazelnut is a North American deciduous shrub that produces edible nuts. It is classified as Corylus americana and is part of the Betulaceae (birch) family. In addition to the hazelnuts, this family includes birch and alder trees. There are other trees and shrubs in this family too. Common names may include American hazelnut, bush hazelnut, American filbert or American hazel. It can be found in USDA zones 4 through 9 ranging roughly from eastern Canada and the United States southward to Florida; then westward toward Louisiana then northward to Minnesota. These plants when mature can vary from three 3 to 18 feet in height, and as much as 8 to12 feet across.

The leaves can range from two to eight inches in length. They are like elongated ovals in shape, with serrated edges. As I research this plant, it is autumn (October 14, 2014) and the leaves are in various evolving color shades and hues. Locally the colors are found in shades of green, yellow, purple and orange, but the most prevalent shade to date is a very attractive red! They are even more attractive in bright sunlight.

This is a monoecious species. Its reproductive parts are on separate flowers on the same shrub. The male flowers are brown catkins and the female catkins are red. The males are also longer than the females, which are about a half-inch long. American hazelnuts are edible. They are much smaller than other hazelnuts, but just as tasty.

When I searched the internet for “American Hazelnut (Corylus americana),” it came back with 40,800 entries. This is a tremendous amount of information, and I cannot help but wonder about the accuracy of some of these entries! There are articles relating to many hybrid varieties, USDA developed hybrids, named cultivars, and of course the genus Corylus L. – hazelnut which contains 7 species and 13 accepted taxa according to the USDA. These can be found from Turkey to Tibet, and China to California; as well as Siberia and the Himalayan Mountains.

In summary my comments refer only the American Hazelnut (Corylus americana). I cannot comment accurately on other than what I see and find locally and reputable websites. The best external site for research information (with a high degree of accuracy) is the USDA Website at this link: USDA HAZELNUT DATA You must enter 'American Hazelnut' in the search box.

[ Reply to this comment | Give a thumbs up ]

Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Tree? by Cyclaminist Apr 30, 2016 11:03 AM 3
Projects, Tools, and Just Cool Stuff not plants by Eric4home Dec 9, 2018 11:00 AM 362

« Add a new plant to the database

« The Plants Database Front Page

Today's site banner is by greenappleagnes and is called "Carpenter Bees and Ginger"