Beaked Hazel – Corylus Cornuta: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Filbert of Wild Plants

Table of Contents

In Chippewa, one word for hazel is bagan‘, which means nuts, burs or wood. Beaked hazel or hazelnut is our local edible and medicinal filbert. And it can be used just the same as the store bought one!

Beaked Hazelnuts – see how the husk looks like a beak!

Like many related (and similarly leaved) trees and shrubs, you’ll find them most along the edges. If you’re lucky, they’ll have their beaked fruits making their identity clear.

Its European cousin, corylus avellana, is the filbert you find sold at grocery and bulk food stores, used for baking and flavoring. Our local hazelnut can be used just the same, though I find the bushes don’t necessarily produce much nut, and some years none. Perhaps if tended, they will be more fruitful (I will be trying this myself!) I saw a fellow on Facebook water a mullein to 9 ft tall!

Edible Uses of Beaked Hazel

Gather nuts after the first hard frost (here in Haliburton, Ontario that’s usually in the middle of September, but they get even softer and sweeter mid Autumn or later if you’re thinking of using in sweeter recipes). If your shrub seems sparse, nearby you may find more stored in a tree hollow, thanks to busy red squirrels. Be careful looking in hollows. You may get a face full of quill or a feisty weasel to the nose. You can store the nuts for up to 12 months in a cool, dry place.

Remove the husk and shell and eat as is. Or use in any recipe calling for nuts. Hazelnuts are yummy in confectioneries and baked goods. You can also grind into meal or flour.

If you have a banner harvest, you could express the oil to use it in everything from salad dressings to soap making.

Medicinal Uses of Beaked Hazel

Beaked hazel is primarily said to support these body systems:

  • Digestive
  • Integumentary

Medicinal tags include Astringent and Diruetic. See Medicinal tag key for more information.

Common usage includes an astringent tea of the leaves, barks or fruit for diarrhea, vomiting and cramps – along with all matter of basic astringent plant uses.

Alternative Uses of Hazelnut

The roots of hazel are pliable for baskets, and the rods are used too. The twigs can be made into brushes and brooms, even fishing poles. Like willow, the wood charcoal is good for drawing pencils.

The seed husks make a black dye when mixed with butternut and boiled together.

The oil can be used for soap and perfume making.

Growing Corylus Cornuta

I found this shrub hard to transplant, like you could with say, willow or lilac. It put up a good fight, re-leaved once, but lost the struggle eventually. You can avoid the extra work and buy native beaked hazelnut shrubs at native plant nurseries; the ones I planted from nurseries needed extra watering to establish in comparison to other purchased plants. But once established they can handle dry soil. The sunnier the spot, the more hazelnuts you’ll get eventually.

I plan to retry propagating with a rooting hormone and tending them through the year in pots, later planting them during their dormancy in early winter. I’m going to fertilize them to improve their changes of taking this time. They will make a nice hedge!

Beaked Hazel - Corylus Cornuta
Beaked Hazel – Corylus Cornuta


And the Usual Cautions:

1) Most medicinal herbs, if edible, are meant to be eaten in moderation, even sparingly. Some require extra preparation.

2) People can be allergic or sensitive to nearly any plant; try new herbs one at a time at your own risk.

3) For medicinal use, I must recommend receiving a diagnosis and working with a reputed health care provider. I generally do not post specific treatments and dosages because I think that is best between you and your health care provider, and ideally monitored.

4) Anyone pregnant, nursing, or taking prescription drugs should talk to a health care professional before adding new food items to their diet.

5) Many plants have look-a-likes, and sometimes they are poisonous.

#ads in References

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Every book I reference that is available on Amazon is linked to with an associates link.



How Indians Use Wild Plants for Food, Medicine & Crafts (Native American)

Stalking The Wild Asparagus (Field Guide Edition).

Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs

Edible and Medicinal Plants of Canada

Field Guide to North American Edible Wild Plants (Out of Print)

Please Like, Comment, Share! We'd love to hear your stories and knowledge! Thank you!

2 thoughts on “Beaked Hazel – Corylus Cornuta: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Filbert of Wild Plants”

Leave a Comment