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Corylus cornuta (Beaked hazelnut)
Smith, R.W.

Corylus cornuta

Corylus cornuta Marshall

Beaked Hazelnut, Beaked Filbert

Betulaceae (Birch Family)


USDA Symbol: COCO6

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N), SPM (N)

A dense, mound-shaped, thicket-forming shrub, 4-8 meters tall, or a small tree. 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.


From the Image Gallery

3 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Venation: Pinnate
Breeding System: Flowers Unisexual , Monoecious
Fruit Type: Nut
Size Notes: Shrub up to about 25 feet tall. Sometimes grows as a tree up to about 45 feet tall.
Leaf: Green.
Autumn Foliage: yes
Fruit: Brown.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow , Green , Brown
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May


USA: 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 Conditions

Water 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.


Use 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)

Early Hairstreak
(Erora laeta)

Larval Host
Learn more at BAMONA


Description: Corylus spp. may be propagated by seed. Rooted pieces may be separated from the plant for increase.
Commercially Avail: yes

Find Seed or Plants

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

Web Reference

Webref 30 - Calflora (2018) Calflora
Webref 37 - Calscape (2019) California Native Plant Society
Webref 3 - Flora of North America (2014) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

USDA: Find Corylus cornuta in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Corylus cornuta in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Corylus cornuta


Record Modified: 2022-10-18
Research By: TWC Staff

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