Herb: Chilean Hazel


Latin name: Gevuina avellana


Family: Proteaceae



Edible parts of Chilean Hazel:

Seed - raw or cooked. A pleasant taste, similar to cob nuts. A popular food in Chile where it is often sold in local markets and is a much sought after item of diet. The seed contains about 12.5% protein, 49.5% oil, 24.1% carbohydrate. The roasted seed is used as a coffee substitute.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Evergreen
Shrub

Height:
10 m
(33 feet)

Flovering:
June to
August

Habitat of the herb:

Wet mountain forests, where it rapidly colonizes cleared areas. Grows from the snow-line down to the coast along the Pacific coast of the Andes. It is seldom found in groups.

Other uses of Chilean Hazel:

The seedcase is a source of tannin. Wood - light, strong, easily worked, elastic, not very durable. It is used for furniture, oars, roof-shingles etc.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a greenhouse. Sow stored seed as soon as possible in the year. The seed often germinates well but then sickens and dies, it has been suggested that this is due to the plants need of a symbiotic relationship with a soil-borne fungus. Adding some soil from around a growing plant to the seed compost might improve success rates. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts, and consider giving them some protection from the cold for their first winter or two outdoors. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Layering - hard pruning provides lots of material.

Cultivation of Chilean Hazel:

Wet mountain forests, where it rapidly colonizes cleared areas. Grows from the snow-line down to the coast along the Pacific coast of the Andes. It is seldom found in groups.

Medicinal use of the herb:

None known

Known hazards of Gevuina avellana:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.