Know Your Natives – American Hazelnut

American Hazelnut

American Hazelnut (Corylus americana) is a medium to large spreading shrub that produces edible nuts in the fall.

The nuts ripen in September and October and are a favorite of small game and birds. As fall progresses male catkins are produced. In mid to late winter the catkins fully expand and shed their pollen. A large, leafless shrub in February with fully grown catkins is a sight!

It is found over much of the central and eastern United States north of the Gulf Coast. Arkansas is at the southwestern edge of this species’ range.

American Hazelnut - Corylus americana

Next season’s male catkins form as fall progresses

American Hazelnut - Corylus americana

The maturing nuts are enclosed in a protective structure known as an involucre

Article and photographs by ANPS member Eric Hunt

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About Eric Hunt

Botanical Photographer living in Little Rock, Arkansas
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