Corylus colurna is commonly known as Turkish Hazel, Constantinople Hazel or Turkish Filbert. It is a deciduous nut tree native to southeast Europe and Southwest Asia. The unisexual flowers bloom in early spring, male trees showing pale yellow catkins, before the leaves appear. On female trees the flowers are barely visible. While the nuts are edible they are even smaller than common hazel with an even harder shell. However, it is used as rootstock for grafting on common hazel in nut orchards, because, unlike its cousin it doesn’t form root suckers. A small tree is rarely grows beyond six meters.
It is fairly drought tolerant and can cope with alkaline soils as well as both heat and cold. It prefers sunny positions in light sandy soils. Because it tolerates difficult growing conditions it has become favoured in civic planting schemes.
Funky Facts File: It was first introduced into the UK in 1582. Obviously, it is loved by squirrels!