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Corylus avellana 'Contorta'

Corkscrew hazel

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Key information

Plant type

Deciduous shrub

Flower colour



Autumn colour, Flowers, Fruit



Skill level


Corylus avellana 'Contorta'

Plant details

Contorted or corkscrew shrubs are popular features, few more so than the corkscrew hazel or Harry Lauder's walkingstick. The hazel species, C. avellana, is too large for most gardens except in boundary hedges, but many garden varieties are more restrained. The corkscrew hazel will ultimately reach 6m (20ft), but only half that in 25 years because it is slow-growing. Winter is its season, when the curiously contorted stems stand out against a clear sky and then develop their fine catkins before the spring foliage appears. Fully hardy, this shrub prefers sunny or semi-shaded sites in fertile, well-drained soil. The Royal Horticultural Society has given it the prestigious Award of Garden Merit.

Family: Corylaceae

Genus: Corylus

Species: avellana

Cultivar: Contorta

Plant type: Deciduous shrub

Flower colour: Yellow

Foliage colour: Dark green

Feature: Autumn colour, Flowers, Fruit

Sun exposure: Full sun, Partial shade

Soil: Well-drained/light, Clay/heavy, Acidic, Chalky/alkaline, Dry

Hardiness: Hardy

Skill level: Beginner

Height: 300cm

Spread: 400cm

Time to take cuttings: November to February

Reader reviews


My corkscrew hazel coming into leaf always suffers from a form of a droopy leaf curl. Can anyone help please.
There does appear to be a lot of tiny mites on the undersides of the leaves.


Lovely yellow catkins.

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