HAZELNUT

Corylus americana

BIRCH FAMILY (Betulaceae)


Description
This native shrub grows up to 12 feet tall from a cluster of 1-2 inch stems (A,E). Male and female flowers are found on the same plant. Small male catkins are present during winter. They enlarge and flower along with a few tiny red female flowers (B) by mid-March, well before the emergence of leaves, which are ovate, toothed and up to 5 inches long (C). The young twigs are hairy. The fruit, a wrapped nut, develops singly, or as one or two cluster pairs by late July (D).

Occurrence
Grows in upland woods and thickets, flowering in March. In Fontenelle Forest, uncommon near the entrance to Mormon Hollow. At Neale Woods, there is a large colony on the northern boundary along County Road P-40.

Comments
The Hazelnut, also known as Filbert, is edible. The Omaha-Ponca collected them along with other nuts. They ate them raw, with honey or in a soup.



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