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.
Article and photographs by ANPS member Eric Hunt