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Weed Identification

American hazelnut



Scientific Name

Corylus americana

Other Common Names:

American filbert

Synonyms (former Scientific Names):

Corylus americana var indehiscens


Leaves are deciduous, alternate, broadly oval with a heart-shaped or rounded base, 8-12(-15) cm long and 12 cm wide, acuminate, doubly serrate, hairy beneath, the petiole with stiff, glandular hairs.

Identifying Characteristics

Birch family (Betulaceae). Native shrubs growing 1-3(-4) meters tall, strongly rhizomatous and forming colonial thickets; main stems (or trunk) straight, with spreading, ascending branches, the twigs slender, zigzag, light brown, with numerous stiff, red-glandular hairs.

Flower Seed Head

Male (staminate) and female (pistillate) flowers are separate, but both types present on each plant (the species monoecious); male flowers numerous in long, pendulous stalks (catkins) 8-10 cm long, in clusters of two or three near branch tips, appearing in the fall, but opening the following spring. Female flowers are several in a scaly bud, tiny and inconspicuous with only bright red stigma and styles protruding from the gray-brown buds, almost completely enclosed by bracts, near the end of the twigs.

Seed Fruit

Fruit is a light brown, acorn-like nut 1-2 cm long, wider than long, enclosed in two, leafy, coarsely toothed (husk-like) bracts. The common name reflects its being native to North America and hazel is from the Old English name for filbert

Where Found

Widespread in eastern North America, Maine west to Saskatchewan and North Dakota, south to eastern Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Georgia, not found along the Gulf coast region.

Life Cycle


Plant Type