Corylus cornuta Marshall
Beaked hazelnut, Beaked filbert
Betulaceae (Birch Family)
USDA Symbol: COCO6
A dense, mound-shaped, thicket-forming shrub, 4-8 ft. tall. Yellowish-brown catkins are showy in late winter and early spring. The female bloom is obscure. The husk that covers the nut is extended, forming a slender beak. Fall color varies from bright yellow to deep wine-red.
The Beaked Hazel is a member of the birch family (family Betulaceae) which includes trees, often large, and some shrubs including alders (Alnus), hornbeams (Carpinus), and hophornbeams (Ostrya), as well as birches (Betula). About 135 species worldwide. About 20 native and 1 naturalized tree species and 8 shrub species in North America.
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Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Autumn Foliage: yes
Size Class: 6-12 ft.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Yellow , Green
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun
DistributionUSA: AL , CA , CO , CT , DE , GA , IA , ID , IL , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MS , MT , NC , ND , NH , NJ , NY , OH , OR , PA , RI , SC , SD , TN , VA , VT , WA , WI , WV , WY
Canada: AB , BC , MB , NB , NL , NS , ON , PE , QC , SK
Native Distribution: Nf. to B.C., s. to GA mts., MI, n.e. IA & c. CA
Native Habitat: Upland forests; thickets
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil pH: Circumneutral (pH 6.8-7.2)
CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium
Soil Description: Various moist to dry soils.
Conditions Comments: Sometimes considered a more refined shrub than C. americana. Can be pruned anytime. Tends to sucker from the roots and must often be thinned out. No extensive disease or insect problems. The west coast variety is Corylus cornuta var. californica.
BenefitUse Wildlife: The fruit is a smooth nut with a very hard shell.
The nuts are rich in protein and fat a favourite of red squirrels and chipmunks. Snowshoe hare browse heavily on young shoots during the winter. The nuts are a preferred food of ruffed grouse, pheasant, hairy woodpecker and blue jay. The winter buds and spring catkins are a valuable protein source for ruffed grouse and American woodcock. (Shrubs of Ontario)
Attracts: Birds , Butterflies
Larval Host: Early Hairstreak (Erora laeta)
Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)Corylus cornuta is a larval host and/or nectar source for:
Early Hairstreak |
Learn more at BAMONA
PropagationDescription: Corylus spp. may be propagated by seed. Rooted pieces may be separated from the plant for increase.
Seed Collection: Not Available
Commercially Avail: yes
Find Seed or Plants
View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.
National Wetland Indicator Status
BibliographyBibref 1186 - Field Guide to Moths of Eastern North America (2005) Covell, C.V., Jr.
Bibref 1185 - Field Guide to Western Butterflies (Peterson Field Guides) (1999) Opler, P.A. and A.B. Wright
Bibref 946 - Gardening with Prairie Plants: How to Create Beautiful Native Landscapes (2002) Wasowski, Sally
Search More Titles in Bibliography
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Corylus cornuta in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Corylus cornuta in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Corylus cornuta
MetadataRecord Modified: 2009-02-18
Research By: TWC Staff