Common name:Corylus americana seeds
American Hazelnut, native to Eastern North America, is a deciduous, rounded, multi-stemmed shrub which typically grows 8 to 16 feet tall and occurs statewide in dry or moist thickets, woodlands and wood margins, valleys, uplands and prairies. Plants are Monoecious (separate male and female flowers on the same plant). In spring, male flowers appear in showy, 2 to 3 inch long, yellowish brown catkins and female flowers appear in small, reddish, inconspicuous catkins. Female flowers give way to small, egg-shaped, 1/2 inch long, edible nuts maturing July-August which are encased in leafy, husk-like, ragged-edged bracts. Nuts are similar in flavor to the European filbert and may be roasted and eaten or ground into flour. Fall color is quite variable, ranging from attractive combinations of orange, rose, purplish red, yellow and green to undistinguished, dull yellowish green.
Hazelnuts are best kept by shelling and then freezing. Hazelnuts are a delicious nut for fresh eating, roasted, ground into a paste or as toppings in chocolate and ice cream. The hazelnut is both tasty and healthy. It is high in vitamins A, E, and the B group.