Corylus americana

Species Native to Missouri
Common Name: American hazelnut 
Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Betulaceae
Native Range: Eastern North America
Zone: 4 to 9
Height: 10.00 to 16.00 feet
Spread: 8.00 to 13.00 feet
Bloom Time: March to April
Bloom Description: Male - brown, female - red
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Hedge
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Good Fall
Attracts: Birds
Fruit: Edible
Tolerate: Clay Soil, Black Walnut


Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Prompt removal of root suckers will help maintain plant appearance, and, if desired, help prevent thicket formation.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Corylus americana, commonly called American filbert or hazelnut, is a Missouri native, deciduous, rounded, multi-stemmed shrub which typically grows 8-16' tall and occurs statewide in dry or moist thickets, woodlands and wood margins, valleys, uplands and prairies. Monoecious (separate male and female flowers on the same plant). In spring, male flowers appear in showy, 2-3" long, yellowish brown catkins and female flowers appear in small, reddish, inconspicuous catkins. Female flowers give way to small, egg-shaped, 1/2" long, edible nuts (maturing July-August) which are encased in leafy, husk-like, ragged-edged bracts. Nuts are similar in flavor to the European filbert, and may be roasted and eaten or ground into flour, but are also commonly left for the squirrels and birds. Ovate, double-toothed, dark green leaves (3-6" long). Fall color is quite variable, ranging from attractive combinations of orange, rose, purplish red, yellow and green to undistinguished, dull yellowish green.

Genus name comes from the Greek word korylos, or from korys meaning a helmet, in regard to the husk on the nut.

Specific epithet means of the Americas, North or South.


Susceptible to Eastern filbert blight. Some susceptibility to leaf spots, blight and crown gall. Occasional insect visitors include scale, leafhoppers and various foliage-eating caterpillars.


Best grown informally in naturalized areas, open woodland gardens or prairies where it can be allowed to spread. May also be used as a screen or as a planting for the rear of a shrub border.