West Highland Flora

Hazel


Corylus avellana

 

Corylus avellana

Photo Carl Farmer
25 Jul 2004 Portree, Skye
c 3.1 cm from tip to tip of bottom two nuts

Common in woods or in pure stands.  Some hazelwoods represent the natural climax vegetation in exposed places on the west coast.

Bush c 3-5 m tall.  Nuts c 1.5-2 cm long.  Female flowers c 3-4 mm across.  Male catkins c 3-7 cm long when fully open.

ID: Nuts and female flowers unmistakable.  Bare tree in winter has unopened male catkins present along the twigs, not just at their ends like birches, and greenish or pale brown buds.  If only leaves are available, these are heart-shaped at base and doubly-toothed, each of some 10-30 main teeth being themselves edged with much smaller teeth.

Other features: A shrub or small tree that normally has several trunks arising from base.  Male flowers are in catkins and consist of a bract which has beneath it 4 divided stamens each bearing 2 yellow anthers.  Female flowers arise from normal-looking buds and are in clusters of 6, each with 2 red styles.

 

Corylus avellana

Photo Carl Farmer
27 Jan 2002 Scorrybreac, Skye

 

  Corylus avellana

Photo Carl Farmer
12 Feb 2004 Portree, Skye

 

Corylus avellana

Photo Carl Farmer
30 Dec 2001 Portree, Skye

  Corylus avellana

Photo Carl Farmer
30 Dec 2001 Portree, Skye

Above and right: winter male catkins.
Colours range from yellow to purple.

 

 

Corylus avellana

Photo Carl Farmer
17 Mar 2003 Suardal, Skye
Middle catkin 4.5 cm long, 5 mm across

  Corylus avellana

Photo Carl Farmer
16 Mar 2003 Scorrybreac, Skye
Flower 3.5 mm across.
11.5 mm from base of shoot to end of flower

Left: Spring male catkins

Above: Female flower

 

 

 

Corylus avellana

Photo Carl Farmer
17 Mar 2003 Suardal, Skye
 

Close-up of flowers of the 2 male catkins in the LH previous pic

 

Corylus avellana

Photo Carl Farmer
12 Feb 2004 Portree, Skye

Hazel bush covered in open male catkins, one of the most noticeable signs of early Spring

 

Corylus avellana

Photo Carl Farmer
7 Jul 2004 Glenhinnisdale, Skye
Largest purple leaf c 8 cm long

Young leaves are sometimes purple when they first open

 

Corylus avellana

Photo Carl Farmer
18 Oct 2003 Portree, Skye

  Corylus avellana

Photo Carl Farmer
2 Nov 2004 Portree, Skye
Tips of lower and top nuts c 3.6 cm apart



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