Table of Contents

Hazelnut: Plant profile

Common names

Common hazel

Botanical name

Corylus avellana


Betulaceae (Birch)

Geographical distribution

Native to western Asia and Europe. Very common throughout the British Isles and Ireland.

Where to find  Hazelnuts

Woodland, hedgerow and scrub.

When to find  Hazelnuts

Nuts late summer to early autumn.



Hazel has been linked to folklore and traditions for centuries, regarded as a magical tree. Hazel rods were used for water-divining and converted into magic wands that supposed to protect against evil spirits, as it was said to be an excellent energy conductor.

The pendulous bright-yellow catkins are one of the first signs of the monotonous winter going to an end, long before the hazelnuts are ready to be harvested in early autumn.

The name hazelnut applies to the nuts of any of the species of the genus Corylus. You are most likely to find cobnuts (Corylus avellana) and filbert nuts (Corylus maxima), but they have extensively hybridised.

The nuts can be picked at the immature stage when husks and shells are still young and green but are mostly harvested when the husks turn brown and start to fall off.

Culinary uses and recipes with Hazelnut

Hazelnuts are widely used in confectionery and have a great affinity for chocolate. They are also a great addition to cereals, granola and Swiss muesli and add a crunchy texture to cake, biscuits and breads.


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Alvaro Docio

Alvaro Docio

I am the person behind British Local Food. I want to inspire you to go outdoors, familiarise with your local plants and make the best of their culinary and medicinal properties.

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