Corylus avellana Contorta is widely admired for its complicated hazel contours. Its hallmarks are twisted branches and a gnarled trunk. Commonly known as the Corkscrew Hazel, this is one of the best winter plants. Pale winter skies with the sun hanging low provide an enchanting backdrop to Contorta’s gnarled and deeply twisted dark branches. In late winter, chubby catkins lightly open up into long and curvy tassels.
The Corkscrew Hazel bush or tree grows slowly and rarely reaches more than 15 feet in height. In summer, it produces an abundance of green leaves and in winter, the showy catkins appear adding superb winter interest. All hazels can adjust themselves to different soils, but they should preferably be grown on loamy soil or chalk soil in breezy open spaces for the best results.
Corylus avellana Contorta is a native hazel to the UK. It was first discovered in the early 1860s by Henry Nicholson Ellacombe, a Victorian gardener of note. He noticed the intricate form of the Corkscrew Hazel in a Gloucestershire hedgerow and was struck by the dramatic effect of the tangled stems. Before long, Corylus avellana Contorta had its own dedicated section in the gardens of Myddelton House, close to Enfield. It was here that Ellacombe’s friend Edward Bowles planted the first twisted hazel in cultivation. In fact, the original Corylus avellana Contorta is still there today. The Corkscrew Hazel grew in popularity as evermore renowned gardeners began admiring the bonsai-like, sculptural charms and deeply gnarled bark of this twisted hazel. It went on to be commonly known as Harry Lauder's Walking Stick, a famous Scottish entertainer whose trademark walking stick was made from Corylus avellana Contorta.
Corylus avellana Contorta or Corkscrew Hazel has been awarded the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit, which makes it a great choice for a UK garden.
We deliver Corylus avellana Contorta throughout the UK and Ireland.