Corylus americana Walter
Corylus americana Walter var. indehiscens Palmer & Steyerm.
American hazelnut is native to eastern North America.
Identification: Typically a large multiply branched shrub almost spherical in shape and 8-12' (2.4-3.7 m) high, this hazel sometimes takes the form of a small tree. Leaves are alternate, heart-shaped, with double serrations, 2½-5" (6.3-12 cm) long. They are dark green, turning bright yellow to copper-colored in the fall. Hazelnuts are dioecious: male and female flowers appear on separate plants. Male flowers are yellow-brown catkins up to 8" (20 cm) long and ⅛" (5 mm) around. Female flowers are red, occurring on the tips of twigs, and only about ¼" (6.3 mm) around. Nuts are in small groups of 1 to 4, each about ½" (1.3 cm) around and individually wrapped in a ragged “sack” or husk.
Edibility: Hazelnuts from this species are edible. They are not as large as those from cultivated varieties, but they are just as tasty. The thick shells contain a small, sweet kernel, which may be eaten fresh, roasted, or pressed for an edible oil.
Corylus americana on Carolina Nature, from Will Cook
Corylus americana on Earl J.S. Rook's Flora, Fauna, Earth, and Sky ... The Natural History of the Northwoods
Corylus americana at the Virginia Tech Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation
Corylus americana on Native Plant Wildlife Gardening
Corylus americana on Plants for a Future, a resource and information centre for edible and otherwise useful plants
Corylus americana description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 15 Nov 2013.
Range: Zones 4-9: