Hazel catkins now flowering

The progress of my local natural events is unrelenting. Whoever tells us winter is a time of “nothingness” is surely ill informed?

ARKive video - Male hazel catkins releasing pollen onto female flowers

I have recorded the first emergence of Hazel Catkins Flowering on 8 occasions and this year’s flowering is one of the earlier dates, having witnessed a variety in flower on 7th January 2012. Alongside this, two other events regarded as potential phenological indicators also occurred. My range of dates for Hazel Catkins Flowering covers the 6th January through to the 20th February and the mean date is now 26th January.

Common Hazel Catkins Flowering – Corylus avellana

The superb video above this post shows the aforementioned process in action. It happens even before the leaves have had a chance to develop. The male flowering catkins as in my example are pale yellow in colouration and are 5 to 12cm long. The female flowers are barely visible with only their red styles showing are 1 to 3mm long. With an estimated 14 to 18 species in the genus, Hazel is described sometimes as a shrub and not a true tree. However, Hazels can grow to 10 metres tall. As an important component of hedgerows, they once marked boundaries and are still coppiced to this day. We have a genus of Hazel in our garden called the Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick (Corylus avellana ‘Contorta’) and many admire it. Common Hazel and other types such as filbert (Corylus maxima) are grown specifically for their Hazelnuts, also known as cobs. The tree is closely linked to certain animals such as Dormice – Hazel Mouse, Grey and Red Squirrels and many species of birds, fungi, lichens and moths.

Kind Regards

Tony Powell

4 thoughts on “Hazel catkins now flowering

  1. I collected 900g of good hazel nuts one month ago, but now my Hazel is flowering again -been covered in catkins since November 15th!

  2. Today is the 3rd of January and I’ve just come back on the bus from shopping. The bus route passes Shawford Down (near Winchester, Hampshire) and as we stopped to pick someone up, I saw a hazel bush absolutely covered in catkins! Unfortunately, I was on the “wrong” side of the bus or I would have taken a photo of it!

    1. Hi Caroline,

      I haven’t personally seen such evidence yet but they look close to bursting so I guess that next time I venture out, I will see an official opening of the catkin flowers.

      All the best and Thanks for commenting.

      Tony William Powell

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