Page authors: David Giblin, Don Knoke
Corylus cornuta
beaked hazelnut
Twig with two pendulous (dangling) male catkins, and with female flowers enclosed in bracts at the tip. The yellow pollen-bearing anthers are sprirally arranged along the catkin and covered by bracts. Female flowers are found at the tip of the twig enclosed within a series of bracts. Only the red stigmas of the female flower protrude from the bracts.
Specimens
Photos

Distribution: Occurring on both sides of the Cascades crest in Washington; southern British Columbia to California, east to the Rocky Mountains, northern Great Plains, Great Lakes region, and eastern North America.

Habitat: Forest edge and openings, thickets, and rocky slopes at low to middle elevations.

Flowers: January-March

Origin: Native

Conservation Status: Not of concern

Description:
General:

Multi-stemmed shrub 1-4 meters tall with alternate leaves. First-year twigs typically hairy to glandular, becoming glabrous (smooth) in second year.

Leaves:

5-10 mm long petioles with 4-10 cm long blades; base of blade flat or somewhat heart-shaped; leaf margins doubly serrate; tip of blades coming to a point gradually or abruptly.

Flowers:

All plants have separate male (staminate) and female (pistillate) flowers. Male flowers are arranged sprirally along a pendulous (dangling) catkin; female flowers enclosed in bracts at the tip of the twigs with only the red stigmas visible.

Fruits:

1.5 cm. long, hard-shelled nut enclosed within a prickly-haired tube formed by the involucre (cluster of bracts) originating at the nut base.

Comments:

The nuts are often harvested shortly after ripening by squirrels and other cache-forming animals.

Accepted Name:
Corylus cornuta Marshall
Publication: Arbust. Amer. 37. 1785.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
(none provided)
Infraspecies:
ssp. californica – California hazelnut    Occurring on both sides of the Cascades crest in Washington; British Columbia to California.
ssp. cornuta – beaked hazelnut   Occurring chiefly east of the Cascades crest in Washington; southern British Columbia to California, east to the Rocky Mountains, northern Great Plains, Great Lakes region, and eastern North America.
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Corylus cornuta in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Corylus cornuta checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Corylus cornuta atlas page.

CalPhotos: Corylus cornuta photos.

USDA Plants: Corylus cornuta information.

43 photographs:
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