WSU Clark County Extension

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Western Hazelnut

Scientific name: Corylus cornuta

Type:Deciduous shrubs
Plant Requirements
Zone:5 to 8
Sun:Partial shade
Plant Characteristics
Height:10 ft
Width:10 ft
Bloom:Winter flowers
Bloom Time:March
Bloom Color:Green
Additional Characteristics



Wildlife value

Description Western Hazelnut is often referred to as Beaked Hazelnut. It is commercially grown for the edible nuts and used in wildlife habitat plantings to provide cover and nuts, which are eaten by squirrels, deer, grouse and pheasant. Also known as California Hazel, California Hazelnut and California Filbert.

This is a Northwest native shrub that grows to 10 feet in both height and width. It forms a very nice open, multi-stemmed shrub that is found from British Columbia south to northern California. It bears elliptical leaves that are 4” long and 3” wide. The leaves are hairy and have jagged margins. They are arranged in an alternate fashion and are simple. They turn yellow in the fall before they are shed. The branches are thin and the twig zig-zag as they grow.

Flowering occurs in early spring, before leaves emerge. Male flowers consist of long (1” to 1.5” in length) pendulous stalks (catkins) often borne in clusters of 2-3 near the branch tips. Conversely female flowers consist of tiny flowers with bright red stigma and style, surrounded by a scaly bud. They also form on the ends of the branches.

Female flowers morph to fruit which resemble acorns. The nuts are three-quarters inch in diameter and are concealed by two, leafy coarsely toothed husk-like bracts. The name Beaked Hazelnut references the bracts being fused at the tip, thus forming an extended tubular beak.

This species likes partial shade with some soil moisture. It makes an excellent choice for re-vegetating a stream bank during a restoration project.

None reported.
For assistance, contact Dr. Charles Brun (, (360) 397-6060 5701
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