The male catkins appear in winter, an early reminder that spring is on its way. The reddish female flowers are quite small in comparison to the catkins but never the less develop into edible hazelnuts. The nuts are an important food source for a wide array of wildlife. This species likes partial shade with some soil moisture. It makes an excellent choice for re-vegetating a stream bank during a restoration project. Studies at OSU have determined that the native beaked hazelnut is not susceptible to eastern filbert blight.
Attracts butterflies, host plant for the early hairstreak butterfly
Favorite food of grouse, pheasant, woodpecker and blue jay
Spring catkins are a protein source for grouse and American woodcock
Squirrels and chipmunks love the protein and fat rich nuts
Edible nuts are delicious fresh or cooked
Found in upland forests and thickets.
Native Americans gathered the nuts in early autumn and ate them raw or roasted. They were also pounded into cakes with berries, meat, or animal fat. The nut's milk was used to cure coughs and colds, to heal cuts, and as an astringent. The wood was fashioned into arrows, fishing traps, hooks, and spoons.
Grows well in moist to dry, well-drained soil in part to full shade. It may be pruned at any time.