Corylus cornuta

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Corylus cornuta
Corylus cornuta.jpg
Beaked hazel foliage
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Fagales
Family: Betulaceae
Genus: Corylus
C. cornuta
Binomial name
Corylus cornuta
Corylus cornuta range map 2.png
Natural range of Corylus cornuta
Beaked hazel (Corylus cornuta), raw
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy2,629 kJ (628 kcal)
22.98 g
Dietary fiber9.8 g
52.99 g
14.89 g
VitaminsQuantity %DV
Thiamine (B1)
0.480 mg
Riboflavin (B2)
0.160 mg
Niacin (B3)
3.190 mg
Vitamin B6
0.550 mg
MineralsQuantity %DV
441 mg
1.200 mg
3.12 mg
235 mg
7.600 mg
411 mg
738 mg
2 mg
2.06 mg
Other constituentsQuantity
Water5.92 g

Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database

Corylus cornuta, the beaked hazelnut, is a deciduous shrubby hazel found in most of North America, from southern Canada south to Georgia and California. It grows in dry woodlands and forest edges and can reach 4–8 metres (13–26 ft) tall with stems 10–25 cm (4–9 34 in) thick with smooth gray bark.[1] The leaves are rounded oval, coarsely double-toothed, 5–11 cm (2–4 14 in) long and 3–8 cm (1 143 14 in) broad, with hairy undersides. The flowers are catkins that form in the fall and pollinate in the following spring.

Corylus cornuta is named from its fruit, which is a nut enclosed in a husk with a tubular extension 2–4 cm (341 12 in) long that resembles a beak. Tiny filaments protrude from the husk and may stick into, and irritate, skin that contacts them. The spherical nuts, which are surrounded by a hard shell, are edible though small. The beaked hazel is the hardiest of all hazel species, at its northern limits surviving temperatures of −50 °C (−58 °F).[1]

There are two varieties:[2]

  • Corylus cornuta var. cornuta – Eastern Beaked Hazel. Small shrub, 4 to 6 m (13 to 20 ft) tall;[2] 'beak' longer, 3 cm (1 14 in) or more.
  • Corylus cornuta var. californica – Western Beaked Hazel or California Hazelnut. Large shrub, 4 to 15 m (13 to 49 ft) tall;[2] 'beak' shorter, usually less than 3 cm (1 14 in). The Concow tribe called this variety gōm’-he’’-ni (Konkow language).[3]

The seeds are dispersed by jays and rodents such as red squirrels and least chipmunks.[2] Although C. cornuta is somewhat shade tolerant, it is more common in forests with fairly open canopies than denser ones.[2] However, it is intolerant of entirely open areas that get hot and dry.[1] Fire kills the above-ground portion of the shrub, but it resprouts fairly readily after fire, and in fact American Indians in California and Oregon used fire to encourage hazelnut growth, as they used hazelnuts for food, baskets, medicine, and other purposes.[2]


  1. ^ a b c "Corylus cornuta" (PDF). Alberta Centre for Reclamation and Restoration Ecology. University of Alberta. Retrieved 22 November 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Fryer, Janet L. (2007). "Corylus cornuta". Fire Effects Information System (FEIS). US Department of Agriculture (USDA), Forest Service (USFS), Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory – via
  3. ^ Chesnut, Victor King (1902). Plants used by the Indians of Mendocino County, California. Government Printing Office. p. 405. Retrieved 24 August 2012.

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