Betulaceae: Corylus americana
Native American Name
Corylus americana is a perennial, monoecious shrub that grows, from rhizomes to a height of roughly 2.5- 5 m with a crown spread of 3- 4.5 m. Plants are usually multi-stemmed with long branches that produce a dense spreading shape and form thickets by sending up suckers from the underground rhizomes. The young twigs are hairy-glandular. The petiolate leaves are simple, alternate, the blades ovate, pointed at the tip and rounded or heart shaped at the base, 1-12 cm long, doubly toothed and hairy underneath. Male flowers present in the winter and bloom very early in the spring in long (4-8 cm) cylindrical stalked, whitish catkins having numerous crowded flowers, each having a pair of bracts and 4 stamens. The female flowers emerge before the leaves in ovoid brownish catkins of few flowers, with the red styles becoming visible. The fruit are nuts that are solitary or clustered, each enveloped in expanded leafy bracts. America hazelnut grows in upland forests and thickets along the edge of the coteau des prairies in eastern South Dakota.