Winter twig with male and female flowers
Male and female flowers
Closeup of Hazel nut
are almost round but broadest near the tip which is often drawn out
into a narrow point. They are 5-12 cm long, markedly double-toothed
on the margins, softly hairy on both sides and with fewer than 8 pairs
of veins. The leaf stalks
are short, 8-15 mm.
Hazel is a
up to 6 m high with several stems, often coppiced
with a coppery-brown, scaly, peeling bark of woods, scrub and hedges
on base rich to moderately acid soils ascending to 610 m.
The male and female
flowers grow on the same plant and open from January to April before
The male flowers
are in long, drooping catkins
2-8 cm long in groups of 1-4: the females are small upright 'buds'
c. 5 mm long with red styles.
Hazel nuts or
cobs, up to 20 mm long, develop in clusters of 1-4, each surrounded
by an enlarged, leafy, divided calyx
longer than itself.
The pollen in
spring attracts many flying bees.
The nuts are
important food for squirrels, mice, pigeons, pheasants and jays.
on a regular 7-14 year rotation they produce a valuable supply of
rods for thatching, hurdles, bean poles and pea sticks.