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Corylus cornuta
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Beaked Hazelnut
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Corylus cornuta

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About Beaked Hazelnut (Corylus cornuta) Corylus cornuta (Beaked Hazel) is a deciduous shrub or small tree in the Betulaceae (Birch) family that is found in most of North America, from southern Canada south to Georgia. In California it is found primarily in the central and northern parts of the state where it grows in dry woodlands and forest edges of the Coast Ranges and Sierra Foothills. It can reach 4 - 8 meter tall with stems 10 - 25 centimeter thick with smooth gray bark. The leaves are rounded oval, coarsely double-toothed, 5-11 centimeter long and 3 - 8 centimeter broad, with hairy undersides. The flowers are catkins that form in the fall and pollinate in the following spring. The dangling catkins give the plant visual interest in winter when it is leafless. Corylus cornuta is named from its fruit, which is a nut enclosed in a husk with a tubular extension 2 - 4 centimeter long that resembles a beak. Tiny filaments protrude from the husk and may stick into, and irritate, skin that contacts them. The spherical nuts, which are surrounded by a hard shell, are edible.
Plant Description
Plant Type

Max. Height
5 - 26.3 ft (1.5 - 8 m)

Max. Width
10 ft (3.0 m)


Growth Rate

Winter Deciduous

Flower Color
Yellow, Red

Flowering Season
Spring, Winter

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Usually found in openings in various types of woodland or forest

Shade, Part Shade

Elevation ?
9' - 10807'

Annual Precip. ?
10.8" - 154.1"

Summer Precip. ?
0.18" - 5.94"

Coldest Month ?
26.6° F - 51.2° F

Hottest Month ?
47.0° F - 79.1° F

Humidity ?
0.01 vpd - 24.41 vpd

Soil Description
Tolerant of a variety of garden soils as long as sufficient moisture is available

Soil PH
5.0 - 7.0

Fast, Medium, Slow

Cold Tolerance(° F)
Tolerates cold to 0° F

Companion Plants
Can be used with a variety of woodland/forest plants including:

Trees: Fir (Abies sp.), Red Alder (Alnus rubra), Madrone (Arbutus menziesii), Douglas Fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), Bigleaf Maple (Acer macrophyllum), Oaks (Quercus sp.), Pines (Pinus sp.), and Bay Laurel (Umbellularia californica).

Shrubs: Buckeye (Aesculus californica), Manzanita (Arctostaphylos sp.), Mahonia (Berberis sp.), Ceanothus sp., Dogwood (Cornus sp.), Coffee Berry (Frangula sp.), and Toyon (Heteromeles arbutifolia)

Wildlife Attracted
Various insects are attracted to the flowers. The nuts are of interest mainly to squirrels.

Landscaping Information
Ease of Care
Moderately Easy

Water Requirement ?
Extremely Low
Very Low
Moderate - High

Moderately Popular

Max. Summer Water ?
1x/month, 2x/month
No Summer Water
Keep moist

Propagation ?
For propagating by seed: 2-3 (and up to 6) mos. stratification; use fresh seeds.

Common uses
Deer Resistant

Nursery Availability
Commonly Available

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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