Corylus americana American Hazelnut Filbert Seed & Plant
(KOR-ih-lus  am-er-ih-KAH-nuh)
Easyliving Native Perennial Wildflowers
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Corylus americana American Hazelnut photo by cj Habitat Bloom Period Seeds
Height  Moisture Plant Spacing Lifespan
Corylus americana, American Hazelnut picture  sun - shade Feb.  April July -
3 to 12 feet  average to moist 3 to 10 feet shrub

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Corylus americana American Hazelnut potted plants $7.50 (SOLD OUT) each plus UPS shipping.  Please contact us by email with your address/zip code for  availability and shipping costs on Hazelnut potted plants
 Corylus americana
American Hazelnut seed

number of seeds

approximate coverage
in square feet

1 packet -  $  out of seeds


1 ounce -----------    

20 - 30

1 pound ------------  


 Corylus = From the Greek krylos, meaning Hazelnut
americana = Of the Americas

     Corylus americana, American Hazelnut, American Filbert, is a thicket forming spreading shrub 3 to 10 feet tall.  Fruits mature in July August in clusters of 2 to 6, seeds 3/8 to 5/8 inch diameter, light brown, sweet, edible.  American Hazelnut grows wild in dry or moist thickets, woodlands, valleys, uplands, and savannas from Florida to Georgia, Arkansas and Oklahoma north to Maine and west to Saskatchewan.  
     Corylus americana seeds and catkins are Eaten by wildlife including bobwhite quail, ruffled grouse, blue jays, squirrels, and white-tailed deer.  Leaves are colorful in autumn, orange to brick red or purple red with combinations of orange, yellow and green.  American Hazelnut shrubs are used for wildlife planting and the nuts are prized by cooks throughout Europe and the US.  
     Plant seeds of American Hazelnut outside in fall/winter or give cold pretreatment.  Seeds may germinate faster after making a small hole in the hard outer shell.
Corylus - From the Greek krylos, meaning Hazelnut
americana - Of the Americas

Hazelnuts and filberts are produced by species of Corylus.  Commercial filberts (C. colurna L. and C. maxima Mill.) are cultivated in various parts of the world, particularly Turkey, Italy, Spain, China, and the US.  Nuts of the native American species (C. americana and C. cornuta) are smaller but similar to the cultivated ones in flavor, and C. cornuta also is commercially cultivated for nut production.  The nuts are sweet and may be eaten raw or ground into flour for cake-like bread.  The nuts were used by American Indians to flavor soups. 

The nuts of American hazelnut, which have a higher nutritional value than acorns and beechnuts, also are eaten by squirrels, foxes, deer, northern bobwhite, ruffed grouse, turkey, woodpeckers, pheasants, and deer.  The leaves, twigs, and catkins are browsed by rabbits, deer, and moose.  The male catkins are a winter food for turkey and ruffed grouse.  The dense, low growth habit provides cover and nesting sites for many wildlife species.

Extractives of American hazelnut and their physically modified derivatives, primarily glycerides of the fatty acids, are used for emollients.  Other derivatives, such as tinctures, concretes, absolutes, essential oils, oleoresins, terpenes, terpene-free fractions, distillates, and residues are used for botanicals.   

American hazelnut has long been valued as an ornamental and for planting in naturalized settings.  It grows in sun or partial shade and is useful for borders because of its colonial tendency.  The leaves turn orange to red or purple in the fall.  It is available from various commercial growers – there apparently are no cultivars apart from the wild type.  Cultivars of the European filbert (C. avellana L.) tend to be small trees and also are useful in landscaping. 


General: 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.  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.  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.  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. 

Variation within the species: several variants have been described within the species: Corylus americana var. indehiscens Palmer & Steyermark (fruit bracts united along one side) from southwestern Missouri; Corylus americana forma missouriensis (A. DC.) Fern. (petioles essentially glandless) from southeastern Kansas.  These have not been generally recognized, and the species is currently treated with no formal variants. 

Distinguished from beaked hazelnut (Corylus cornuta) by absence of a horned beak on the fruit. 

Distribution: 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.  For current distribution, please consult the Plant Profile page for this species on the PLANTS Web site.


American hazelnut occurs in moist to dry woods and thickets, forest margins, roadsides, and fencerows and other disturbed areas.  It grows best on rich, moist, well-drained soils but often may be found close to streamsides and also grows on prairies.  Open habitats are common, but it also can grow successfully in deep shade and is found at 0-750 at meters in elevation.  This species flowers in February–April before the emergence of leaves and fruits in July–August.  


Plants of American hazelnut may begin producing seed after the first year and produce good seed crops every 2-3 years.  The seeds have a period of dormancy, apparently overcome by cold treatment.


American hazelnut is removed by growers of commercial, closely managed forests, primarily because of its aggressive colonial habit and corresponding competition with timber trees.  It is easily top-killed by spring and summer fires.  The underground roots and rhizomes can survive low- to moderate-severity fires when the humus is moist, but they are relatively shallow and vulnerable to repeated summer fires when the humus is dry and combustible.

American hazelnut is not affected by any serious pests.  Several canker-forming fungi may result in girdling or breakage of stems.  Mildew may defoliate plants and fungi may destroy nuts. 

The map below shows areas where native Corylus americana American Hazelnut shrubs grow wild but it can be planted and will grow over a wider area than shown.  USDA plant hardiness zones 3 to 9.

State Distributional Map for COAM3

New Hampshire
New Jersey
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
West Virginia


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Out of seeds, potted plants are available

The minimum seed order amount is $10, this can be a combination of different seeds.

subtotal for flower seeds 

shipping charge for seeds

seed orders up to  $20.00    =    $3.00 shipping
$20.01 - $50.00    =    $4.00 shipping
$50.01-$100.00    =    $5.00 shipping

over $100.00    =    5 % of subtotal

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Plant distribution map complements of USDA, NRCS. 2001. The PLANTS Database, Version 3.1
  ( National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.