Herb: American Hazel

Latin name: Corylus americana

Family: Betulaceae (Birch Family)

Medicinal use of American Hazel:

A tea made from the bark is astringent. It was used in the treatment of hives and fevers. A poultice made from the bark is used to close cuts and wounds, treat tumours, old sores etc.

Description of the plant:


3 m
(9 3/4 foot)

to May

Habitat of the herb:

Thickets and rich woods.

Edible parts of American Hazel:

Seed - raw or cooked in soups, bread, biscuits, sweets etc. The nuts have a thick shell with a small sweet kernel, they make an excellent dessert. Nuts at the "milk" stage (before they are fully ripe) are softer and sweeter. The seed is rich in oil. The seed ripens in mid to late autumn and will probably need to be protected from squirrels. When kept in a cool place, and not shelled, the seed should store for at least 12 months. An edible oil is obtained from the seed,

Other uses of the herb:

The plant makes a good screening hedge.

Propagation of American Hazel:

Seed - best sown as soon as it is harvested in autumn in a cold frame. Germinates in late winter or spring. Stored seed should be pre-soaked in warm water for 48 hours and then given 2 weeks warm followed by 3 - 4 months cold stratification. Germinates in 1 - 6 months at 20C. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a cold frame or sheltered place outdoors for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer. Layering in autumn. Easy, it takes about 6 months. Division of suckers in early spring. Very easy, they can be planted out straight into their permanent positions.

Cultivation of the herb:

Thickets and rich woods.

Known hazards of Corylus americana:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.