Celia Hart's blog about what's going on in and around her studio.
Art, printmaking, inspirations, gardening, vegetables, hens, landscapes, wild flowers, East Anglia, adventure, travel.

Saturday, 8 February 2014

100 Flowers : #008 Hazel

A sure sign of Spring . . .

#008 : Corylus avellana


Probably one of the most common trees in England, found in almost every hedgerow and wood; once every village would have had access to a woodland of coppiced Hazel to provide essential, flexible, renewable poles and rods for countless craftsmen to make into useful everyday things.

The botanist and great namer of plants, Linneaus, named the Hazel Corylus avellana which means Tree from Avella (in Italy) he was referring to Leonhart Fuchs, in his book 'De historia stirpium commentarii insignes' written in 1542, described the species as "Avellana nux sylvestris" (‘Wild nuts of Avella’).

Of course it's the Hazel catkins we look for as a sure sign that Spring is on its way.

Lot of catkins, shaking like lambs' tails in the hedges means lots of nuts in autumn . . . well maybe but not necessarily . . .

The long dangly catkins are the male flowers, they shake and puffs of yellow pollen can be seen . . . hopefully some pollen will land on the female flowers

– those tiny red stars on the end of fat little buds.

Looking like a sea-urchin and such an unexpected vivid colour to find on the olive green, furry twigs.

But, remember . . . don't count your nuts before they're ripe, especially if you have squirrels visiting the garden.



  1. I love hazel and catkins. I don't think I have ever noticed the tiny flowers though, what a beautiful colour! Xxx

  2. I noticed catkins this morning as I hurried through the garden - I should have stopped and looked properly.

  3. I saw some several weeks ago at the local country park - I've always loved catkins, as a child they seemed kind of magical as they did to look like anything else.

  4. Lovely! I have no hazels...would you like to trade for tamarind?

  5. Oh dear! That "unknown" was me, Dinahmow, using Geiger's account.Sorry for the confusion.

  6. Neat! I've never seen Hazel catkins before. No urban hedges here :/

  7. Beautiful, I always look for hazel in spring. My middle boy has just told me that his SAS manual says you can eat some catkins. It's amazing what I've learned from that. Hope you have a good Sunday.

  8. We have been in Dorset for the last week, there were so many Hazel trees with their Catkins blowing in the high winds, it all looked so lovely.

  9. I've never noticed those little red flowers before.

  10. Celia, I've always liked seeing witch hazel catkins, but like Gina, don't recall seeing those red flowers.

    Now I will be more observant. However, my next Central Park walk will have to wait a bit. It's still fiercly cold here, and more snow is due tonight. What a new year!

    I am really enjoying your 100 flowers, and thank you so much for these posts. xo

  11. I shall be joining that long list of people who have never noticed those red flowers before. I've loved catkins as a sign of Spring ever since we collected them in primary school in the 50's to put in a jam jar on the 'nature table'. Because of that familiarity I am guilty of forgetting to take a closer look at them. I am going to rectify that now. Thanks Celia.


I love reading all the comments (except for spam and advertising which I will delete) and I'll reply here in the comments under each blog post, it may take a few days if I'm busy.
You don't need to have a blog to leave a comment, you can select the name/URL option and fill in just your name instead of a blog link.