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Corylus avellana (Hazel) is a compact, spreading to semi-weeping, deciduous shrub or small tree. With twisted branches and deeply ribbed dark purple leaves in spring, turning green with a purple flush in summer before changing to bronzed-purple and green in the autumn. In late winter the branches are covered with purple-pink catkins which are followed by edible nuts.
Tolerant of most soil types as long as it's well-drained, does well on chalky soils. Will grow in sun or partial shade, the best leaf colouring will be maintained by planting in a sunny spot.
The twisted branches make a great architectural feature and the varying colours provide interest all year. A common hedgerow plant it is good for wildlife and can be coppiced for stakes and binders to use in place of bamboo canes. An excellent choice for a small city garden as it is highly tolerant of urban pollution. Being deer-resistant they also make an ideal choice for a country garden or a mixed hedge or meadow garden.
The variety Red Majestic has an RHS Award of Garden Merit.
Aspect: West-facing or South-facing or East-facing