Monday, August 02, 2010

Corkscrew Hazel Has Nuts!

I have had this corkscrew hazel corylus contorta for a number of years.Here it is in February, 2007 with the catkins dangling off it. The catkins remind me of a geisha's hair ornament. It is beautiful. Through the long winter it provides us with something lovely to look at in the front garden.It wants to send up shoots below the graft which are not twisted. Those straight shoots get nipped out as soon as they are spotted.

Though some of the ends of the shrub were killed by our hard winter, the plant seems to be quite hardy. It surprised me yesterday by revealing that it isn't just a living ornament in the garden, it has fruited! Looking closely at it I was delighted to see that there are about 8 hazelnuts on this tree. I wasn't expecting this! I had assumed that an ornamental shrub was sterile and would not fruit. I am so pleased that I was mistaken!