Corylus avellana is a native species of hazel. They were valued by the earliest settlers on this island for their edible nuts.
Hazels are suckering plants that send shoots up from around the base of the plant. They are suitable for coppicing, meaning if they are cut to the ground, the plant will re-grow very quickly.
Hazel produces long catkin flowers of pale yellow in February, these are the male flowers. Female flowers are produced in separate clusters on the same plant, it is these that produce the fruit.
In gardens a variety with contorted and twisted stems is often grown as the gnarled growth looks attractive in winter, it is called Corylus avellana ‘Contorta’
A purple leaved hazel is also grown, this is a variety of a different species; C. maxima ‘Purpurea’