The hazelnut is a bush or small tree, belonging to the Oak family (Cupuliferae)i producing edible nuts of a dark-brown color. The staminate flower appears in the autumn, in cylindrical catkins, remaining on the plant all winter, and becoming fully developed to shed their pollen early in the spring. The pistillate flowers appear very early in the spring, before the leaves, during the warm days of March or April. The bright red stigmas push through the ends of the buds, dropping off as soon as fertilized. The tree may then remain without leaves for several weeks.
All the varieties which have long, fringed husks extending beyond the nut, are filberts; while those whose husks are shorter than the nut, are hazels; this word being derived from the Anglo-Saxon word haesel meaning a hood or bonnet. The filbert has been celebrated from ancient times, both in prose and poetry. Vergil says it has been more honored than the vine, the myrtle, or the bay itself. Formerly a forked twig of the hazel was used as a divining-rod for finding hidden treasures, veins of metals, subterranean streams of water, and even pointing out criminals.
There are many varieties; the two principal ones being the American and European filberts. Among the American varieties the Corylus American (Walters) and Corylus Rostrata Aiton are the best. Among the best of the European varieties are the Corylus Avellana (Linn), Alba, or white filbert, Cosford, Crispa, Lamberts, Grandis or round, Cobnut, purple-leaved filbert, red filbert, and Spanish filbert.
Common Filbert and Its KErnel.
The hazelnut is very high in nutritive value, and one of the very best for general use. It contains seventeen and four-tenths per cent. of albuminous elements, seven and two-tenths per cent. of starch, sixty-two and six-tenths per cent. of fats, and two and five-tenths per cent. of salts, making a total value of eighty-nine and seven-tenths per cent.
Large Seedling Hazelnut.
1, 2, 3, 4. Imported Nuts, derived from Corylus Avellana; 5. A Seedling derived from Corylus Avellana; 5a. Portion of Twig, showing Winter Bud: 5a'. Dormant
Pistillate Buds; 5a". Dormant Staminate Catkins; 6, 7. Specimens of Imported Nuts;
8. American Hazel with Open Involucre; 9. American Hazel with Closed Involucre.
10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16. Varying Forms and Sizes; 17. Typical Cluster; 18. Cluster showing Fruiting Habit; 18a. Side view of Nut; 18b. Basal view of Nut; 18c. Section of Nut showing Kernel; 18d. Kernel.