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Corylus avellana 'Contorta'/Harry Lauder's Walking Stick

Corylus avellana 'Contorta' / Corylus avellana 'Contorta'
Striking sculptural form with a blanket of snow background
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Striking sculptural form with a blanket of snow background

Hanging catkins and interesting dormant sculptural form

Specimen shrub


Sculptural branching

Catkins on a heavily branched specimen walking stick

Specimen adjacent to a garden pool in winter

Winter specimen

Close-up of a branch

Sculptural branching with abundant dangling catkins in spring

Large specimen in front of a governmental building in Washintton, DC

A closer view of an established plant

Has contarted trunk and branches

Branches have controted like gowths on them

A contorted, cascading, leafy branch in spring

Low branching, contorted specimen in early spring

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Scientific Name: Corylus avellana 'Contorta'
Common Name: Harry Lauder's Walking Stick
Plant Type: Deciduous
Leaf Type: Broadleaf
Hardiness Zone: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 Determine Your Zone
Height: 8-10 feet
Spread: 5 - 10 feet
Bloom time: Spring
Flower color: Yellow
Light Exposure: Sun, Part Sun
Drainage: Well drained, Moist, Dry
Rate of Growth: Slow
Water Requirement: Medium
Susceptible to insects
and diseases:
Landscape Categories: Bark, Trunk, and Branch Features
Comments: The twisted and spiraling branches, twigs and leaves of the plant make it a strong accent plant. Sexes on separate plants and the long, drooping catkins are quite prominent in late winter. Best adapted to the upper South and farther north. Does not receive enough chilling hours of cold in the lower South. In the lower South they produce mostly lush foliage without the interesting twisted, contorted growth. Remove side suckers on young plants because most cultivars are grafted and may produce side shoots that are not of the desired species. Some drought stress is good for a more contorted growth.