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Corylus avellana Contorta


Corkscrew hazel

Contorted stems give amazing winter interest

The tightly twisted branches of this large shrub add interest to the winter garden, especially when dusted with snow or a heavy frost. Yellow catkins hang from the twigs in winter and these lengthen as spring approaches. Heart shaped leaves of fresh green cloak the plant until autumn when they turn bright golden yellow before falling to reveal, once again, the twisted silhouette.


This large shrub or small tree is slow growing enough to be planted in a large container as well as in a border in part shade or full sun.


Easy to grow in most situations, Corylus are not fussy about soil types. Trim to keep tidy in early spring. For container growing, use good quality loam based compost and water regularly through the growing season.

Also known as Harry Lauders Walking Stick, if you remember Sir Harry then you'll know why.

Plant details

In depth plant information

Property Value
Plant type Ornamental shrub
Flower colour
Foliage colour
Typically available February - July
Season of interest Winter
Flowering April - April
Evergreen No
Plant height 250 cm - 400 cm
Plant width 250 cm - 400 cm
Fragrant flowers No
Attracts bees No
Attracts butterflies No
Plant height in 5 years 110 cm
Hardiness zone (?) H6

Will perform best in these conditions

Property Value
Soil type Chalk, Clay, Sand, Loam
Light exposure Full sun, Part shade
Soil drainage Well drained, Medium
Planting instructions

Water the plant in its pot thoroughly before planting – give it a good soaking. Prepare the area by digging a hole twice the size of the pot. Dig compost into the base of the hole. Remove the pot and position the plant in the hole, with the top of the rootball about level with the surrounding soil. Refill the planting hole with a mixture of garden soil and compost, firming as you go. Water in well and keep well watered during the plant's first year.

Planting site Wildlife garden, Cottage garden, Informal garden

Typically available

From February to July