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Corylus maxima

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Kemper Code:  B998

Common Name: large filbert
Zone: 4 to 8
Plant Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Betulaceae
Missouri Native: No
Native Range: Southeastern Europe
Height: 12 to 15 feet
Spread: 12 to 15 feet
Bloom Time: March  
Bloom Color: Yellow (male)
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low

Plant Culture and Characteristics

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  Uses:       Wildlife:   Flowers:   Leaves:   Fruit:
Hedge Suitable as annual Attracts birds Has showy flowers Leaves colorful Has showy fruit
Shade tree Culinary herb Attracts Has fragrant flowers Leaves fragrant Fruit edible
Street tree Vegetable   hummingbirds Flowers not showy Good fall color   Other:
Flowering tree Water garden plant Attracts Good cut flower Evergreen Winter interest
Gr. cover (<1') Will naturalize   butterflies Good dried flower     Thorns or spines

General Culture:

Grow in acidic, organically rich, medium moisture, well-drained loams in full sun to part shade. Best in full sun. Tolerates average soils, but not unamended heavy clays. Suckering may occur.

Noteworthy Characteristics:

Giant hazel or giant filbert is typically seen as a large, suckering, deciduous shrub growing 12-15’ tall. It is native from southeastern Europe to western Asia. It is a parent of the hybrid plants (C. avellana x C. maxima) that are commonly grown in commerce for filbert nuts. It is very similar to C. avellana, except it is somewhat more tree-like in habit, its foliage and twigs are sticky-hairy and it has elongated involucre husks that extend well beyond each nut. Double-toothed, broad ovate, dark green leaves (to 5” long) are pubescent. Leaves turn variable but usually unexceptional shades of yellow in fall. Monoecious flowers appear in catkins in spring but are not showy. Edible nuts follow the female flowers. Each nut is encased by an involucre husk that extends beyond the nut. Nuts may be roasted and eaten, or left for the squirrels. This shrub may be difficult to find in commerce. C. maxima ‘Purpurea’ is a popular purple-leaved cultivar that is much easier to find.


No serious insect or disease problems. Some susceptibility to leaf spots, blight and crown gall. Occasional insect pests include scale, leafhoppers and various foliage-eating caterpillars. Removal of root suckers, particularly in large plantings, can become time-consuming.


Shrub borders or naturalized areas. May be grown for nut production.

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