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Corylus avellana - L.                
Common Name Hazel, Common filbert, European Filbert, Harry Lauder's Walking Stick, Corkscrew Hazel, Hazelnut
Family Betulaceae
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Woods and hedgerows, especially on the slopes of hills, often on calcareous soils[7, 17].
Range Europe, including Britain, from Norway to Spain and east to W. Asia.
Edibility Rating  
Medicinal Rating  
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun

Bloom Color: Brown. Main Bloom Time: Early spring, Late spring, Mid spring. May also be known as: Aveleira, Avelinier, Avellana, Avellano, Coudrier, European Filbert, European Hazel, Haselnuss, Haselstrauch, Hazel, Hazel Nut, Noisetier, Noisetier Commun, Noisetier du Japon, Noisette, Noisettes. Form: Rounded.

Physical Characteristics       
 icon of manicon of lolypop
Corylus avellana is a deciduous Tree growing to 6 m (19ft) by 3 m (9ft) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 4 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jan to April, and the seeds ripen from Sep to October. The flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and are pollinated by Wind.The plant is not self-fertile.
It is noted for attracting wildlife.

USDA hardiness zone : 4-8

Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very acid and very alkaline soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil. The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure.

Corylus avellana Hazel, Common filbert, European Filbert, Harry Lauder

Corylus avellana Hazel, Common filbert, European Filbert, Harry Lauder
Woodland Garden Secondary; Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; Hedge;
Edible Uses                                         
Edible Parts: Oil;  Oil;  Seed.
Edible Uses: Milk;  Oil;  Oil.

Seed - raw or roasted and used in breads, cakes, biscuits, sweets etc[2, 5, 9, 12, 13, 34, 183]. An excellent nut for raw eating[K]. They can also be liquidized and used as a plant milk[183]. Rich in oil. The seed ripens in mid to late autumn and will probably need to be protected from squirrels[K]. When kept in a cool place, and not shelled, the seed should store for at least 12 months[K]. A clear yellow edible oil is obtained from the seed[7, 9, 183]. It is used in salad dressings, baking etc.
Figures in grams (g) or miligrams (mg) per 100g of food.
Seed (Dry weight)
  • 650 Calories per 100g
  • Water : 0%
  • Protein: 16g; Fat: 60g; Carbohydrate: 20g; Fibre: 4g; Ash: 2.8g;
  • Minerals - Calcium: 250mg; Phosphorus: 400mg; Iron: 4mg; Magnesium: 0mg; Sodium: 2.1mg; Potassium: 900mg; Zinc: 0mg;
  • Vitamins - A: 0mg; Thiamine (B1): 0.3mg; Riboflavin (B2): 0.5mg; Niacin: 5.3mg; B6: 0mg; C: 6mg;
  • Reference: [ ]
  • Notes:
Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Anthelmintic;  Astringent;  Diaphoretic;  Febrifuge;  Miscellany;  Nutritive;  Stomachic;  Tonic.

The bark, leaves, catkins and fruits are sometimes used medicinally[7]. They are astringent, diaphoretic, febrifuge, nutritive and odontalgic[7]. The seed is stomachic and tonic[240]. The oil has a very gentle but constant and effective action in cases of infection with threadworm or pinworm in babies and young children[7].
Other Uses
Basketry;  Charcoal;  Cosmetic;  Hedge;  Hedge;  Miscellany;  Oil;  Oil;  Plant support;  Polish;  Tannin;  Wood.

The seed contains up to 65% of a non-drying oil, used in paints, cosmetics etc[13, 46, 57, 132]. The whole seed can be used to polish and oil wood[6]. It is very easy to apply and produces a nice finish[K]. The finely ground seeds are used as an ingredient of face masks in cosmetics[7]. Plants can be grown as a tall hedge[29]. They need to be left untrimmed or only lightly trimmed if seed is required[29]. The bark and leaves are a source of tannin[7]. Wood - soft, easy to split, not very durable, beautifully veined. Used for inlay work, small items of furniture, hurdles, wattles, basketry, pea sticks etc[7, 13, 23, 46, 61, 63, 66, 125]. The twigs are used as dowsing rods by water diviners[11]. The wood also yields a good quality charcoal, used by artists[63, 101].
Cultivation details                                         
Landscape Uses:Container, Standard, Specimen. An easily grown plant, it succeeds in most soils, but is in general more productive of seeds when grown on soils of moderate fertility[11, 200]. It does less well in rich heavy soils or poor ones[11, 63]. Does well in a loamy soil[11]. Very suitable for an alkaline soil[11], but it dislikes very acid soils[17]. Succeeds in a pH range 4.5 to 8.5, but prefers a range of 5 to 7[200]. Plants are fairly wind tolerant[1, 11]. A very hardy plant, succeeding in all areas of Britain[200]. The flowers, however, are produced in late winter and early spring and can be damaged by heavy frosts at this time[200]. A parent, together with C. maxima, of many cultivated forms of filberts and cob nuts. There are many named varieties[11]. Plants are self-fertile but a more certain crop is obtained if more than one cultivar is grown[200]. The main difference between cob nuts and filberts is that the husk of a filbert is longer than the seed and often completely encloses it, whilst the husk on a cob nut is shorter than the seed[200]. Squirrels are a major pest of this plant, often decimating the crop of nuts[200]. Often grown as a coppiced shrub in woodlands, the stems have a variety of uses[23, 67, 186]. Members of this genus bear transplanting well and can be easily moved even when relatively large[11]. A food plant for the caterpillars of many lepidoptera species[30]. Special Features:Not North American native, Attractive flowers or blooms.
Seed - best sown as soon as it is harvested in autumn in a cold frame[164]. Germinates in late winter or spring. Stored seed should be pre-soaked in warm water for 48 hours and then given 2 weeks warm followed by 3 - 4 months cold stratification[164]. Germinates in 1 - 6 months at 20°c[164]. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a cold frame or sheltered place outdoors for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer[K]. Layering in autumn. Easy, it takes about 6 months[78, 200]. Division of suckers in early spring. Very easy, they can be planted out straight into their permanent positions.
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Expert comment                                         
Botanical References                                         
Links / References                                         

  [K] Ken Fern Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.

[1]F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaces in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
[2]Hedrick. U. P. Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World.
Lots of entries, quite a lot of information in most entries and references.
[5]Mabey. R. Food for Free.
Edible wild plants found in Britain. Fairly comprehensive, very few pictures and rather optimistic on the desirability of some of the plants.
[6]Mabey. R. Plants with a Purpose.
Details on some of the useful wild plants of Britain. Poor on pictures but otherwise very good.
[7]Chiej. R. Encyclopaedia of Medicinal Plants.
Covers plants growing in Europe. Also gives other interesting information on the plants. Good photographs.
[9]Launert. E. Edible and Medicinal Plants.
Covers plants in Europe. a drawing of each plant, quite a bit of interesting information.
[11]Bean. W. Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
[12]Loewenfeld. C. and Back. P. Britain's Wild Larder.
A handy pocket guide.
[13]Triska. Dr. Hamlyn Encyclopaedia of Plants.
Very interesting reading, giving some details of plant uses and quite a lot of folk-lore.
[17]Clapham, Tootin and Warburg. Flora of the British Isles.
A very comprehensive flora, the standard reference book but it has no pictures.
[23]Wright. D. Complete Book of Baskets and Basketry.
Not that complete but very readable and well illustrated.
[29]Shepherd. F.W. Hedges and Screens.
A small but informative booklet giving details of all the hedging plants being grown in the R.H.S. gardens at Wisley in Surrey.
[30]Carter D. Butterflies and Moths in Britain and Europe.
An excellent book on Lepidoptera, it also lists their favourite food plants.
[34]Harrison. S. Wallis. M. Masefield. G. The Oxford Book of Food Plants.
Good drawings of some of the more common food plants from around the world. Not much information though.
[46]Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants.
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
[57]Schery. R. W. Plants for Man.
Fairly readable but not very comprehensive. Deals with plants from around the world.
[61]Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man.
Forget the sexist title, this is one of the best books on the subject. Lists a very extensive range of useful plants from around the world with very brief details of the uses. Not for the casual reader.
[63]Howes. F. N. Nuts.
Rather old but still a masterpiece. Has sections on tropical and temperate plants with edible nuts plus a section on nut plants in Britain. Very readable.
[66]Freethy. R. From Agar to Zenery.
Very readable, giving details on plant uses based on the authors own experiences.
[67]Ahrendt. Berberis and Mahonia.
Not for the casual reader, it lists all the known species in these two genera together with botanic descriptions and other relevant details for the botanist.
[78]Sheat. W. G. Propagation of Trees, Shrubs and Conifers.
A bit dated but a good book on propagation techniques with specific details for a wide range of plants.
[101]Turner. N. J. and Szczawinski. A. Edible Wild Fruits and Nuts of Canada.
A very readable guide to some wild foods of Canada.
[125]? The Plantsman. Vol. 5. 1983 - 1984.
Excerpts from the periodical giving cultivation details and other notes on some of the useful plants..
[132]Bianchini. F., Corbetta. F. and Pistoia. M. Fruits of the Earth.
Lovely pictures, a very readable book.
[164]Bird. R. (Editor) Growing from Seed. Volume 4.
Very readable magazine with lots of information on propagation. A good article on Yuccas, one on Sagebrush (Artemesia spp) and another on Chaerophyllum bulbosum.
[183]Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants.
Excellent. Contains a very wide range of conventional and unconventional food plants (including tropical) and where they can be obtained (mainly N. American nurseries but also research institutes and a lot of other nurseries from around the world.
[186]Beckett. G. and K. Planting Native Trees and Shrubs.
An excellent guide to native British trees and shrubs with lots of details about the plants.
[200]Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
[240]Chopra. R. N., Nayar. S. L. and Chopra. I. C. Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants (Including the Supplement).
Very terse details of medicinal uses of plants with a wide range of references and details of research into the plants chemistry. Not for the casual reader.

Readers comment                                         
Elizabeth H.
R. Byler Thu Oct 12 2006
Can I move the corylus avellana after being planted for several years?
Elizabeth H.
Ken Fern Mon Oct 16 2006
I've moved a 10 year old tree in the past, and it had no problems re-establishing. Very often, though, it is easier to just dig up some of the suckers that are usually produced and transplant those.
Elizabeth H.
robert cochrane Tue Mar 4 2008
this indiginous can also be used for fencing
Elizabeth H.
edward Sun Jan 24 2010
Hazel isn't a big tree and, although it depends what "several years" means, it shouldn't be an issue to transplant a medium sized, established tree. To make your job easier, it would make sense to give it a good prune first - you can coppice right down to the "stool" if you like. This means that the reduced root system will have less tree above ground to support while it re-establishes, increasing the chance of survival.

Ashridge Trees - Hazel Trees More about Hazel

jonathan H.
May 7 2012 12:00AM
A useful boundary plant on my allotment
Richard B.
Matrix showing cross-pollination of a number of popular Corylus avellana cultivars. Sep 14 2012 12:00AM
Orange Pippin Fruit Trees - Hazel pollination
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