The Many Varieties of Hazelnuts

There are different types of hazelnuts across the world, including in Europe, Asia and North America. The three varieties that the Hybrid Hazelnut Consortium work with include a European variety and the two native North American species beaked and American. The goal is to combine the best traits of these plants to create a commercial hybrid hazelnut.

Beaked Hazelnut

Key Identify Factors of Beaked Hazelnuts

Beaked Hazelnut
  1. Mature involucres 4 to 7 cm.
  2. Twigs glandless.
  3. Prickly hairs on involucres.

Besides having small thick-shelled nuts, native hazelnuts express a wide range of adaptability and a high resistance to the disease EFB. By crossbreeding cold-sensitive, commercial quality (larger-nut size) European hazelnuts (Corylus avellana), with American (C. Americana) or beaked (C. comuta) hazelnuts, we can greatly expand the range of commercial hazelnuts that can be grown, as hybrids are disease resistant and well adapted to the American climate with much better nuts.

Native area of Corylus cornuta Marsh. Beaked hazelnut.

Native Area of the Beaked Hazelnut
View larger map on Google Maps.

American Hazelnut

Key Identify Factors of American Hazelnuts

American Hazelnut
  1. Mature involucres 1.5 to 3 cm.
  2. Young twigs mostly glandular.

Besides having small thick-shelled nuts, native hazelnuts express a wide range of adaptability and a high resistance to the disease EFB. By crossbreeding cold-sensitive, commercial quality (larger-nut size) European hazelnuts (Corylus avellana), with American (C. Americana) or beaked (C. comuta) hazelnuts, we can greatly expand the range of commercial hazelnuts that can be grown, as hybrids are disease resistant and well-adapted to the American climate with much better nuts.

Native area of Corylus Americana Walter. American hazelnut.

Native Area of the American Hazelnut
View larger map at Google Maps

European Hazelnut

Key Identify Factors of European Hazelnuts

European Hazelnut
  1. Exposed Nuts in involucres.

Corylus avellana are often referred to as the European or common hazelnut. Corylus avellana is a native species of Europe and western Asia. European hazelnuts are often naturally a shrub but are can be trained to grow as trees. The nuts of European hazelnuts are commonly free falling and larger in size than American or beaked nuts. By cross breeding cold-sensitive, commercial quality (larger-nut size) European hazelnuts (Corylus avellana), with American (C. Americana) or beaked (C. comuta) hazelnuts, we can greatly expand the range of commercial hazelnuts that can be grown, as hybrids are disease resistant and well-adapted to the American climate with much better nuts.