Photo Credit
Photo courtesy of Oregon State University Landscape Plants.

Beaked hazelnut

Scientific name
Corylus cornuta
Also Known As
Filbert
Plant Family
The beaked hazelnut is a deciduous, multi-stemmed shrub. It's namesake is the fruit, which has a husk that surrounds the nut by at least an inch, forming the "beak".
Identification Hints

The beaked hazelnut is a deciduous, multi-stemmed shrub. It's namesake is the fruit, which has a husk that surrounds the nut by at least an inch, forming the "beak".

Did You Know?

As the common name suggests, the husk (in volucral tube) surrounding the nut extends beyond the nut by at least one inch to form a beak. Nuts ripen in late August and September and are edible, though most commercially-available hazelnuts come from hybrid plants.

Leaves
Alternate leaf arrangement with hairy, leathery, oval-shaped leaves generally 0.16 to 0.39 in (4 to 10 mm) long. The leaf edges are doubly toothed (serrate), giving them a bit of a jagged edge appearance. The leaves typically appear and expand between April and May and fall from the tree in September and October.
Flowers
Beaked hazelnut has separate male (staminate) and female (pistillate) flowers. Tiny staminate flowers are arranged spirally in long, yellowish pencil-like structures called catkins, that hang from the twigs; pistillate flowers are enclosed in bracts (modified leaves) at the tips of twigs (appear as terminal buds) with red, showy tentacle-like projections (the stigmas) visible. The flowers appear in the early spring, up to 2 weeks before the leaves, and are wind pollinated. The pollen is often released from the flowers sometime in April.
Fruits
The fruit is an acorn-like nut, 0.79 in (2 cm) in diameter, surrounded by a husk (involucral tube) which extends beyond the nut by at least one inch to form a beak. The number of nuts produced varies from year to year in a stand, with large crops about every 2-3 years. The nuts ripen in late August and September and often fall from the tree once ripe.
Bark
The bark is smooth or scaly and dark brown. The twigs can be hairless or have a few hairs (the hairs are sometimes glandular (sticky), so if you look at them with a magnifying glass they might have little blobs (glands) at the tips).
Habitat
Full sun to part shade in organically rich, medium moisture but well drained soils. Associated with forest edges and openings, thickets, and rocky slopes at low to middle elevations.
Bloom Time
Early spring.
States
AL, CA, CO, CT, DE, GA, IA, ID, IL, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MT, NC, ND, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV, WY