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Completely unique in many ways, the Twisted Filbert (Corylus avellana ‘Contorta’) is the epitome of year-round interest! These plants are currently in full bloom, creating a compelling display. Twisted Filbert grows in a curly, gnarled branch formation, with twisted branches growing from a straight trunk. In mid spring, its otherwise bare branches become covered in pollen-laden yellow catkins (pictured above). They dangle from gnarled branches, swaying in the breeze, releasing their pollen into the air. The effect is quite lovely, in a very unusual way.


Photo by Northscaping


After the catkins fall, the tree fills out nicely for the summer, with its signature fuzzy, deeply veined leaves. This small tree is a member of the Hazelnut family and produces some nuts in the fall. When yellow leaves fall in autumn, it’s interesting, twisted shape is once again revealed, providing a striking focal point for the winter landscape.


This tree goes by many names including Twisted Filbert, Henry/Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick, European Filbert and European Hazel. It makes a wonderful accent tree and its cut branches are wonderful for floral displays. It is easy to maintain and grows well in most soils. ‘Contorta’ does require some regular maintenance to keep its proper form and health. Prune the tree in late winter, for best results. This dwarf tree does best in full sun to partial shade.


Height: 10 feet

Spread: 10 feet