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CORYLUS chinensis

Image of Corylus chinensis

Mark A. Miller

Family

Betulaceae

Botanical Name

CORYLUS chinensis

Plant Common Name

Chinese Filbert, Chinese Hazel

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

A walk into the highlands of China may reveal a rare glimpse of the Chinese filbert, which is a plant species vulnerable to extinction in the wild. Native to the moist woodlands of south-central China and into Tibet, this partially deciduous tree retains low branches and may sucker from its trunk. To maintain a classic tree silhouette, prune away suckers to reveal the mottled, fissured bark of the trunk. With old age, the bark pales to gray or white.

In spring, when foliage is emerging or fully present, male flowers occur in a cluster of narrow cylinder catkins. Tiny female blossoms are in clusters nearby closer to branch tips. Wind pollinates the female flowers that then develop into tear drop-shaped green fruits that are fused at their bases. A fruit cluster looks like a warped star Christmas tree ornament. Inside each fruit is an edible salmon-brown seed nut. The leaves are medium green and broad triangular ovals with a point and toothed edges. Newly emerging leaves are blushed coppery bronze. Little or no fall foliage color occurs, and in mild winter areas may remain semi-evergreen.

Grow Chinese filbert in any fertile, moist but well-drained soil. Full to partial sun exposures encourages the best tree structure and habit while also encouraging more flowering and fruit production. Use it as a park or campus tree to cast shade and to provide a tasty crop of filbert nuts to eat by mid-autumn.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    9 - 6

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    5 - 8

  • Sunset Zone

    4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19

  • Plant Type

    Tree

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    60'-100' / 18.3m - 30.5m

  • Width

    30'-50' / 9.1m - 15.2m

  • Bloom Time

    Spring, Late Spring

  • Native To

    China

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Oval/Rounded

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Insignificant

  • Flower Color

    Light Yellow, Sandy Brown

  • Fruit Color

    Green, Sandy Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Copper, Bronze

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Bark Color

    Sandy Brown, Gray

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    Yes

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    Semi-Evergreen

  • Showy Bark

    Yes

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Fissured

  • Usage

    Edible, Fruit / Fruit Tree, Shade Trees, Street Trees

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Birds

  • Self-Sowing

    No