Corylus avellana 'CONTORTA'

Corylus avellana
Corylus avellana 'CONTORTA'
corkscrew hazel, Harry Lauder's walking stick, European hazelnut
SIZE/TYPE medium-sized shrub
 taller shrub
USUAL HEIGHT 2-3m
USUAL WIDTH 2-3m
LEAVES deciduous broadleaf
COLOUR OF LEAVES green
FLOWERS insignificant or non-blooming
COLOUR OF FLOWERS yellow
BLOOMING TIME February - March
LOCATION full to partial sun
SOIL TYPE any (acidic to alkaline)
USDA zone (lowest) 4   (down to -34°C)
WINTER PROTECTION  
FOR ZONE 5+6 Code of winter protection zone 5+6
FOR ZONE 7 Code of winter protection zone 7
BELONGS TO CATEGORIES Deciduous broadleaf
Fruit trees
náhled fotonáhled fotonáhled foto
Hazelnuts do not need any introduction in Czechia or even the whole Europe as it is our domestic plant. All of us know them for their delicious nuts which are a natural food for our body and an important ingredient of many recipes. It is usually a medium to fast growing shrub with many upright shoots. But there are also cultivars that offer something special, such as this beauty.

Contorta is a contorted version of our European hazelnut. It was found as a spontaneous mutation of a branch in a hedge in Tortworth, England, in the middle of 1800’s by a Victorian gardener Canon Henry Nicholson Ellacombe. Enthusiastically and willingly he cut off a twig brought it to his friend, another enthusiastic gardener, Edward August Bowles, to multiply it and plant it in his so-called The Lunatic Asylum, as Bowles called his experimental garden in Myddelton, where he cultivated all possible freaks and weirdos of the plants world, in which he found beauty. He also found it in this twisted mutation, which was named Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick at the beginning of the 19th century in honour of the Scottish entertainer.

Contorta hazelnut grows rather slowly and makes strong, irregularly twisted branches on a small tree or shrub. It looks as of a mysterious forest somewhere in Hogwarts. In spring, it blooms profusely with 4-7 cm long, yellowish catkins, followed by edible nuts in late September, not many, but nice. That is, if the squirrels don't steal them first. Deciduous leaves are typically rounded, serrated, medium green, 8-10 cm long and in autumn turn yellow for a short period of time. You can expect an adult size of some 3 meters at the age of about 25 years.

It can be pruned almost anytime, but if you are growing it for fruit, cut it right after flowering not to lose the fruiting branches. Hazel is not demanding on the soil type. It grows almost everywhere, even in heavy and wet soils where it will exhibit slow growth and thinner branching. If you grow it for fruit, plant it in fertile, well-drained, preferably calcareous soil and provide a pollinator – another hazelnut nearby. Fully hardy to at least -34 °C, some sources even claim -40 °C.

Last update 17-07-2013; 10-11-2021
SIZES and PRICES
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Corylus avellana height 100-125 cm, width 40-60 cm
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GLOSSARY
  • STANDARD QUALITY - Plants of this group are 1st class quality with number of branches and overall density adequate to their size and age, considering they were container grown.
  • DE LUXE QUALITY - This label guarantees a luxurious quality of manually selected plants that, compared to their height and age, are exceptionally dense and beautiful.
  • EXTRA - These plants are usually mature and bigger specimens with exceptional overall appearance.
  • STANDARD (as described in the plant form) means a tree with a trunk of 190-210 cm and a crown at the top, unless specified differently. The commercial size for trees is their girth measured in the height of 1m from ground.
  • HOBBY - These plants are of the same quality as our standard-quality plants but younger and therefore cheaper.
  • SHRUB - a woody plant with branches growing bushy from the ground level.
  • HALF-STANDARD or MINI-STANDARD - a small tree with shorter trunk, its size is usually specified.
  • FEATHERED - These are trees with branches growing already from the base of the trunk and up along the stem.
  • GRASSES and PERENNIALS - Sizes given usually read the diameter of the pot or the clump, as specified.
LARGE PLANTS over 150 cmspecimens, screening and hedging shrubs

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