Betulaceae (birch family) Corylus

Corylus avellana European filbert, hazelnut

Europe, Asia Minor

Hazelnuts are an important crop in Europe and are familiar in America in chocolates and other confectionery. In addition they are used for oil, and the rose-colored timber has many uses, not only for making a variety of wooden objects but also for pyrotechnics and charcoal crayons. Over the course of time, in places ranging from the heat of Sicily to the chilly coast of Norway, practically every possibility must have been pursued. It will not come as a surprise, therefore, to learn that the leaves offer forage to cattle and goats.

A specimen at Stanford found in the circular planter in the space east of Hoover Tower is a cultivar ‘Contorta’, with twisted branchlets and other parts, giving rise to the name Harry Lauder’s walking stick. A related species, California hazelnut (C. cornuta subsp. californica) is native to the Santa Cruz Mountains, including Jasper Ridge.

About this Entry: The main text of this entry is from the book Trees of Stanford and Environs, by Ronald Bracewell, published 2005.