Hazel, Filbert, Corylus avellana

shrub of the family Corylaceae (Turkish Filbert), close to the family Betulaceae (Alder, Birch, Hornbeam)

Etymology: "hazel" derives from Greek " corus ", helmet, because of the involucre which covers the fruit. The name "Hazel" appeared in the sixteenth century. The Latin name, Corylus avellana, recalls the hilly region of Aveline, in Italy, where abounds the hazel.
Origin : Europe.
Habitat: forests and Mediterranean maquis. The "coudraie" is the place planted of hazels. Names of places divert from it (Coudray). The walnutgrove is orchards plantedwith hazels.
Height: Hazels are shrubs (size: 4 m), except a tree : the Turkish Filbert, Corylus colurna.
There are other small hazels:
- the tortuous hazel or Corylus contorta with the tortuous stems; a natural tree, discovered in 1863, in the county of Gloucestershire.
- the frank hazel, Corylus maxima, which grows on the Mediterranean periphery. It distinguishes itself by a higher form and an involucre tubular twice as long as the hazelnut.
- the crimson hazel, with crimson foliage (leaf below by moving the mouse on the leaf of common hazel) a cultivar is.
There is also a "hazel of Virginia" which is not a hazel (in the appearance near its leaves), but of the genus Witch hazel.
Form: the hazel is a multi-trunk tree, that is composed of several fine trunks. One says that its suckers. Its pace resembles that of trees which grow in clump.
Bark: reddish-brown-yellow shedding in fine small strips.
Deciduous foliage. Leaves alternate, short petiole, broad oval, pointed at the top. They are lined with a double row of teeth and sometimes coarse lobes. They are dark green on top and lighter, slightly hairy and prominent veins on the underside.
Flowers: Hazel blooms from January to March. This is the forest plant of which flowering is earlier, sometimes it happens in December. Hazel bears fruit towards 10 years old and earlier if sprouting. The flowers are unisexual inflorescences: males appear at the base of the branches of the year by groups of 2 to 4 kittens of 6-7 cm long, pendants and yellow females are manifested by the red stigmas, erect and sessile.
Risk of allergenic pollen : medium to high.
Fruits: Hazelnut is an achene. It is mature in September-October. It is spherical, solitary or grouped by 2 to 4, involucres foliose embedded in a bell-shaped, irregularly toothed at the edge or divided into strips.
Traditions: Among the Celts, the flexible hazel branches were "magic wands". The diviners always use it. Tradition wants that the diviner cuts the young branches (switches) at St. John with a new knife.
In Celtic astrology, the hazel is delightful, demanding, very understanding sparsely...


nut of the Hazel
from Byzance

Tortuous Hazel

Uses: leaves, bark of the young stems and catkins contain active principles. The hazel is cultivated for its fruits (hazelnuts), notably in Italy, in the hilly region of Avellino (hence the Latin name, Corylus avellana). Hazelnuts with red film are used in pastry, those in white seed suit better in confectionery.
Basketry is also made by pruning blades from branches. The crimson Hazel is a decorative shrub (as Prunus pissardi), because of the crimson colour of its leaves. It is smaller than Prunus pissardii.
Feature: the hazel roots live in symbiosis with mushrooms (like the beech and the larch).
Illness: hazelnuts have a small hole and are empty. Balanin of the hazelnut is an insect which pierces young hazelnuts to deposit eggs there. The larvas coming from this eggs feed on the almond then perforate the shell (hence the baby) to go out of it. They fall to the ground and bury themselves for winter. Only, at spring the larvae develop into adults.
Chemical treatment is not really effective because it is necessary to pass the product when adult insects are in the hazel, which is not necessarily very obvious!
To get rid of it, the best solution remains to scratch or to dig at hte foot of the tree so that the larvas buried in the soil comme to the surface and so exposed to cold (what is fatal to them) and to the predators.  

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