American Hazelnut (Corylus americana)

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American Hazelnut (Corylus americana)

American Hazelnut, an uncommon large shrub with coarsely toothed, deciduous, alternate leaves, is found throughout North Carolina except in the lower Coastal Plain. It grows in a variety of habitats, but is most common in rocky woodlands with basic soil.

Similar species are the Beaked Hazelnut (Corylus cornuta var. cornuta) and young Hophornbeam (Ostrya virginiana)

Vance Co., NC 5/20/10.

American Hazelnut (Corylus americana)

Note the distinctive stipitate glands on the petiole and stem, which are lacking on Beaked Hazelnut.

Vance Co., NC 5/20/10.

American Hazelnut (Corylus americana)

Detail of the stipitate glands.

Vance Co., NC 5/20/10.

American Hazelnut (Corylus americana)

Leaf underside and upperside detail. The leaves are densely hairy.

Vance Co., NC 5/20/10.

American Hazelnut (Corylus americana)

Grayson Co., VA 5/30/2009.

American Hazelnut (Corylus americana)

Grayson Co., VA 5/30/2009.

American Hazelnut (Corylus americana)

Grayson Co., VA 5/30/2009.

American Hazelnut (Corylus americana)

American Hazelnut (Corylus americana)

The edible nuts, also called filberts, ripen in late fall.

Durham Co., NC 7/4/03.

American Hazelnut (Corylus americana)

American Hazelnut has relatively flat, fringed involucral bracts (surrounding the nut) and stipitate-glandular petioles and twigs. The similar Beaked Hazelnut (C. cornuta) has a long, tubular beak surrounding the nut and villous (finely soft-hairy) perioles and young twigs.

Carroll Co., VA 7/27/03.

American Hazelnut (Corylus americana) catkins

Long catkins (male flower clusters) appear in early spring.

Durham Co., NC 3/1/08.

American Hazelnut (Corylus americana) catkins

Catkins.

Durham Co., NC 3/20/10.

American Hazelnut (Corylus americana) female flowers

Female flowers are very small and not showy. Here the reddish styles of a female flower are emerging from a bud.

Orange Co., NC 3/20/10.

American Hazelnut (Corylus americana) bud

Bud detail.

Orange Co., NC 3/20/10.

American Hazelnut (Corylus americana) catkins

Elongating catkins and (if you look closely) tiny reddish female flowers.

Durham Co., NC 3/1/08.

American Hazelnut (Corylus americana) female flowers

An inconspicuous reddish female flower in full bloom.

Durham Co., NC 3/1/08.

American Hazelnut (Corylus americana) bark

Bark detail of a medium-sized shrub.

Durham Co., NC 3/1/08.

More information:
Natural History of the Northwoods
University of Connecticut
Virginia Tech Dendrology

Trees, Shrubs, and Woody Vines of North Carolina

cwcook@duke.edu

All photographs and text ©2011 by Will Cook unless otherwise indicated.