Plants

Hazelnut: everything you need to know

The hazelnut (Corylus avellana) is a deciduous fruit tree typical of Europe and Asia that bears the hazelnut as its fruit. It can be a wild tree or cultivated for its nuts. It belongs to the Betulaceae family. There are approximately 10 species within the genus Corylus.

It is characterized by being a tree of temperate climates that needs average temperatures between 12 and 16 ºC and some humidity. However, it can withstand minimum winter temperatures down to -8ºC.

The hazel tree measures up to 6 meters in height, with smooth bark and a grayish tone. It has simple, serrated, rounded leaves that are rough to the touch.

Regarding the soil, the hazelnut tree needs a deep and white terrain but one that does not generate stagnation of water.

On the other hand, the hazel is a fruit tree that needs a large amount of water and, for this reason, it is a tree that is not very resistant to periods of drought.

Description

The hazel is a tree that usually reaches heights between 3 and 10 meters but it is true that many have reached up to 15 meters in height. As a general rule, it branches from the base and has a brown or grayish trunk of hard and resistant wood. It has simple, serrated, rounded leaves that are rough to the touch.

The wild hazel usually grows between 0 and 1,600 meters of altitude. Wild hazelnuts are also edible but these trees are not very productive.

The cultivated hazelnut tree is cultivated both in dry land and in irrigated land. It needs to be windy during pollination, which occurs in winter.

flowers and fruit

It is curious that the flowers of the hazel tree are born before the leaves themselves, in early spring. These are flowers with differentiated catkins: the masculine ones are yellow and the feminine ones with reddish tones.

The flowers are wind-pollinated in catkins, the male ones begin to develop at the end of summer and continue to grow until the following winter. The female flowers are inconspicuous and later, and only the small red styles stand out. The flowers are also called mucus, as the flower is similar in shape to nasal mucus.

The hazelnut is the fruit of this tree and appears in groups of 1 to 5. As the main characteristic of this fruit, we must mention the shell or shell that encloses almost the entire nut, leaving only a quarter of it exposed. When the fruits ripen, at 8 months, the hazelnut appears completely.

Flowering takes place between the months of January and March. The fruits, 1-2 cm in diameter, are partially inside an involucre that is green at first and brown when ripe (popularly called a flake).

In short, the hazelnut is a fruit tree that is somewhat sensitive to drought but very resistant in general. It is typical of temperate climates and we must wait up to 8 months to see its fruits mature: hazelnuts.

Hazelnut seed oil

Hazelnut oil is generally obtained from the seeds of the common hazel (Corylus avellana) but also, with different characteristics and properties, from the American hazel (Corylus americana) and the Chilean hazel (Gevuina avellana). It is an edible oil but is used more as a cosmetic.

Common hazelnut oil is bright golden yellow in color and more transparent than olive oil. Hazelnut oil is obtained by cold-pressing hazelnut seeds. It has a high content of vitamin A and E with an outstanding content of calcium, magnesium and potassium. As a cosmetic it is used for hair care (like almond oil) and skin.

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Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

Robert Asprin

Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

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