American Hazelnut Corylus americana Walter  

Status:

A small tree or multi-stemmed shrub native to Maryland and much of the rest of eastern North America. It is related to another Maryland native, the Beaked Hazelnut, which grows mainly in the mountains. (The commercial filbert nuts are produced by several non-native Corylus species.) American Hazelnut grows in or forms thickets, often in moist soil (Brown and Brown, 1972).

Description:

In the spring, the male catkins, which have overwintered, elongate and become more obvious; the female flower bud opens to reveal small, red, inconspicuous flowers. The nuts are in clusters of two to five. Each nut is about ½ inch long and is surrounded by two broad, leaf-like, ragged-edged bracts which open down to the round, bony-shelled nut. The bracts much exceed the nut in size but do not extend into an elongated beak, as in Beaked Hazelnut. The nuts are initially green, ripening to brown in late summer. If not eaten by wildlife, they may persist on the plant into the next growing season.

Where to find:

Often occurs along streams. Not common on the Coastal Plain.

Relationships:

The fruits are not obvious because they are hidden beneath the leaves, but that does not stop squirrels and other wildlife, which are very fond of the nuts.

Host plant to various moth species including the Buck Moth (Database of the World's Lepidopteran Hostplants).

The leaf beetle Calligrapha rhoda uses American hazelnut as its host plant.

There are 56 records in the project database.

View species at Maryland Plant Atlas

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American Hazelnut, elongated male catkins and small, red, female flower cluster, in Frederick Co., Maryland (3/19/2019). Photo by Robert Warren. (MBP list)

American Hazelnut in Howard Co., Maryland (6/27/2016). Photo by Jim Wilkinson. (MBP list)

American Hazelnut, showing dangling male catkins; small, red, female flower cluster; and bark; in Anne Arundel Co., Maryland (2/29/2012). Photo by Bill Harms. (MBP list)

American Hazelnut fruit in Prince George's Co., Maryland (8/5/2012). Photo by Bill Hubick. (MBP list)

American Hazelnut in fruit, in Garrett Co., Maryland (7/13/2014). Photo by Jim Brighton. (MBP list)

American Hazelnut in fruit, in Prince George's Co., Maryland (10/6/2019). Photo by Rick Borchelt. (MBP list)

American Hazelnut in fruit, in Prince George's Co., Maryland (9/9/2014). Photo by Regina Kreger. (MBP list)

American Hazelnut with current year's fruit and male catkins for the following year, in Washington Co., Maryland (9/9/2017). Photo by Mark Etheridge. (MBP list)

American Hazelnut in fruit, in Howard Co., Maryland (9/17/2013). Photo by Joanne Solem. (MBP list)

American Hazelnut in fruit, in Howard Co., Maryland (9/17/2013). Photo by Joanne Solem. (MBP list)

American Hazelnut in Prince George's Co., Maryland (2/28/2017). Photo by Bill Harms. (MBP list)

American Hazelnut in Anne Arundel Co., Maryland (9/8/2012). Photo by Bill Harms. (MBP list)

American Hazelnut fruit, probably from preceding year's growing season, in Montgomery Co., Maryland (9/7/2013). Photo by Jane Hill. (MBP list)

American Hazelnut with male catkins for the following year's growing season, in Prince George's Co., Maryland (10/6/2019). Photo by Rick Borchelt. (MBP list)

An American Hazelnut in Prince George's Co., Maryland (8/5/2012). Photo by Jim Brighton. (MBP list)

American Hazelnut fruit in Anne Arundel Co., Maryland (9/8/2012). Photo by Bill Harms. (MBP list)

American Hazelnut, female flower cluster, in Montgomery Co., Maryland (3/27/2016). Note how small the female flowers of this species are. Photo by Jane Hill. (MBP list)

American Hazelnut, with male catkins not yet elongating, in Howard Co., Maryland (1/25/2017). Photo by Bill Hubick. (MBP list)

American Hazelnut, with male catkins for following year's growing season, in Prince George's Co., Maryland (9/9/2014). Photo by Regina Kreger. (MBP list)

American Hazelnut in fruit, in Calvert Co., Maryland (9/13/2014). Photo by Sue Hamilton. (MBP list)

American Hazelnut in Prince George's Co., Maryland (9/7/2015). Photo by Bill Harms. (MBP list)

American Hazelnut growing in Howard Co., Maryland (6/10/2017). Photo by Jim Wilkinson. (MBP list)


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