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Corylus cornuta – Wikipedia

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**Description and Characteristics**:
– Corylus cornuta, also known as beaked hazelnut, can grow 4–8 meters tall with stems 10–25 centimeters thick.
– The leaves are green, rounded oval with a pointed tip and coarsely double-toothed.
– Male flowers are catkins that pollinate single female flowers, leading to the production of nuts enclosed in a husk with a tubular extension resembling a beak.
– Beaked hazel is recognized as the hardiest of all hazel species.

**Varieties and Distribution**:
– Eastern beaked hazel is a small shrub, 4 to 6 meters tall, with a longer beak, found from southern Canada south to Georgia.
– Western beaked hazel is a large shrub, 4 to 15 meters tall, with a shorter beak, occurring along the west coast from Alaska to California.
– California hazelnut, resistant to Eastern filbert blight, is a notable variety.

**Ecology and Uses**:
– Beaked hazelnut is somewhat shade-tolerant and commonly found in forests with open canopies.
– It resprouts after fire, and American Indians historically used fire to encourage its growth.
– Wildlife, including deer, moose, squirrels, and ruffed grouse, utilize beaked hazelnut for food and cover.
– The plant is also used for ornamental purposes, crafts, and tools, with potential for commercial nut production.

**Habitat, Distribution, and Cultivation**:
– Corylus cornuta thrives in various habitats like forests and woodlands, preferring moist, well-drained soils.
– It is distributed from British Columbia to California, growing at elevations up to 2,500 meters, contributing to ecosystem diversity.
– The plant can be cultivated from seed or cuttings, benefiting from minimal maintenance, grafting for propagation, and pruning for improved nut production.

**Conservation and Management**:
– Beaked hazelnut is essential for maintaining biodiversity but is vulnerable to habitat loss and climate change.
– Conservation efforts focus on protecting and restoring populations, controlling invasive species to prevent competition, and researching genetic diversity and resilience.

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