American hazelnut is a thicket-forming native shrub, excellent for naturalizing, woodland gardens and shade areas. Showy male flowers (catkins) add early spring interest and dark green leaves turn a beautiful kaleidoscope of colors in the fall. The nuts mature from September to October, attracting seed-eating birds, such as blue jays and woodpeckers.
This species is native to the Chicago region according to Swink and Wilhelm’s Plants of the Chicago Region, with updates made according to current research.
- Family (English) Birch
- Family (botanic) Betulaceae
- Tree or plant type Shrub
- Foliage Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
- Native locale Chicago area, Illinois, North America
- Size range Medium shrub (5-8 feet), Large shrub (more than 8 feet)
- Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), Partial sun / shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
- Hardiness zones Zone 4, Zone 5 (Northern Illinois), Zone 6 (City of Chicago), Zone 7
- Soil preference Moist, well-drained soil
- Tolerances Alkaline soil, Occasional drought
- Season of interest early spring, late summer, early fall
- Flower color and fragrance Yellow
- Shape or form Multi-stemmed, Round, Thicket-forming
- Growth rate Fast, Moderate