Common hazel is a quite big shrub. It can live 60 – 80 years. Mostly it is known by its fruits, although it has as well very interesting flowers.
Name of a common hazel in Latin is “Corylus avellana”. It belongs to a birch family and it grows in Poland naturally.
Hazel has shoots which grow up and make a crown like on trees. Its shoots are stiff comparing to other shrubs and can reach up to 5 meters of height. Its bark is gray, but when shoots are young it is darker.
Hazels wood is soft and not durable and this is why it isn’t good for furniture, however, it is used to produce drawing charcoal.
Hazel has beautiful leaves which shape is similar to a drop. Their size is similar to size of a hand. They have a very distinctive green color. In autumn they change color to yellow or brown and before winter they fall down.
Flowers of a common hazel have two types – male and female. Male flowers make little inflorescence and they are yellow. Female flowers are little and they grow close to a branch. They have a dark red or grey color, but they are too small to be very visible.
Fruits of a hazel (called hazelnuts) are called nuts and are light brown. Around each of them there are many smaller beautiful leaves. Hazelnuts are edible, but they have a shell around them which you need to take of before eating.
Hazelnuts are very healthy, because they contain a lot of magnesium, calcium, phosphorus and iron. You can make some oil from hazels fruits which is used to produce cosmetics like shampoo or hair conditioner.