Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Wanted: Wild Hazelnuts!

To help expand the genetic diversity of the hazelnuts in our breeding program, we’re asking citizens to be on the lookout for American hazelnuts (Corylus americana) that are growing naturally. They likely will be found within their natural range, which is from the Great Plains eastward, except in Florida.

If you find a hazelnut bush that's 8-15 feet tall, please email us at with the subject line: Wild American Hazelnut Found. Include your name, location of the hazelnut bush, height and width of the bush, diameter and weight of nuts if found and, if possible, photos of flowers, nuts or leaves. After reviewing your information, we'll contact you and let you know if we would like a sample of your wild hazelnut and the proper procedure for sampling.

Besides acquiring wild American hazelnuts, Consortium members have collected hazelnuts in Turkey and the Georgia Republic where hazelnuts are plentiful, and have access to USDA plant germplasm and various private sources. 

Collecting unrelated hazelnuts from around the world and combining the best traits of each will help us create cold hardy, disease-resistant, drought tolerant, high-yielding hazelnut plants. 

For more information about this project, visit our website at www.

Here’s what to look for:

American hazelnut involucres with nuts inside
Leaves of the American hazelnut
American hazelnut leaves in the fall

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