IUCN threat status:

Not evaluated

Comprehensive Description

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This interesting shrub has sweet edible nuts that can be eaten raw or used in cooking. They are high in protein and very nutritious. American Hazelnut is relatively easy to identify during the summer and fall because its nuts are surrounded by distinctive bracts with wide ragged margins. Another native shrub, Corylus cornuta (Beaked Hazelnut) is rare in Illinois; it has been found only in Jo Daviess county at the NW corner of the state. Beaked Hazelnut has less hairy leaf undersides, petioles, and twigs than American Hazelnut. The protective bracts of its nuts join together to form a long narrow beak that is very different from the bracts of American Hazelnut. Beaked Hazelnut is a boreal species that is more common in areas that lie to the north and northeast of Illinois.

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© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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