Foraging Wild Nuts: Beaked Hazelnut

Photo of Beaked Hazelnut fruit

Having documented the growth cycle of American Hazelnut last year, I decided to track Beaked Hazelnut (Corylus cornuta) this year. The flowers and leaf shape of the two species are similar, but the developing fruits differ noticeably. While I regularly encounter Beaked Hazelnut shrubs, they're typically shaded densely and produce few if any fruits.

One shrub I visited and photographed several times this growing season developed a few fruits and hosted a twig mimic caterpillar (see below). By mid-August, the only evidence I could find of fruit was lying on the ground: an opened shell still partly wrapped in husk. A forest mammal had foraged the nut for herself. (Click on any photo for a larger view.)

Note: Check out Janet's post on foraging hazelnuts over at One Acre Farm.

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