Turkish Hazel Corylus colurna

The Turkish Hazel, native to South-East Europe, Turkey and Iran was was introduced to Britain in 1582. It is an attractive tree, with a straight trunk. It has been widely planted in city streets, where it thrives. Its buds and catkins are similar to the Common Hazel but its fruit is quite different. The nut is hard and small and of no commercial value.

A Turkish Hazel tree in August
Turkish Hazel leaf
The leaf is shaped like the Common Hazel but the surface is glossy and the edges are more lobed
Turkish Hazel leaf
The underside of the leaf has only a few hairs

 

Turkish Hazel bark
The bark is cracked into small scales
Turkish Hazel male catkins
Male catkins open to release pollen. Photo taken at the end of January
Turkish Hazel fruit

Fruit in July.  The nuts sit in an involucre of leafy bracts which has long soft prickles extending from it. 

Turkish Hazel nuts and 'cup' in winter

Fruit in January. The involucre has turned dark brown and the nuts still sit within it.

Turkish Hazel 'cup' and nuts in winter

The involucre, with its nuts, may stay on  the tree all winter, making it very conspicuous.