Common Hazel
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Common Hazel
P Introduced Photo: Shakir Ahmad
Common name: Common Hazel, Common filbert, European Filbert, Harry Lauder's Walking Stick, Corkscrew Hazel, Hazel • Kashmiri: Vernie
Botanical name: Corylus avellana    Family: Betulaceae (Birch family)
Synonyms: Corylus sylvestris

Common hazel is typically a shrub reaching 3-8 m tall, but can reach 15 m. The leaves are deciduous, rounded, 6-12 cm long and across, softly hairy on both surfaces, and with a double-sawtoothed margin. The flowers are produced very early in spring, before the leaves, and are monoecious with single-sex wind-pollinated catkins. Male catkins are pale yellow and 5-12 cm long, while female flowers are very small and largely concealed in the buds with only the bright red 1-3 mm long styles visible. The fruit is a nut, produced in clusters of one to five together, each nut held in a short leafy involucre ("husk") which encloses about three quarters of the nut. The nut is roughly spherical to oval, 1.5-2.0 cm long and 1.2-2.0 cm broad (larger, up to 2.5 cm long, in some cultivated selections), yellow-brown with a pale scar at the base. The nut falls out of the involucre when ripe, about 7-8 months after pollination. Common Hazel is native to Europe to Caucasus, widely cultivated.

Identification credit: Shakir Ahmad Photographed in Kashmir.

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