Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Hazel (Corylns Avellana), a shrub or small tree belonging to the order Corylaceee and native of Europe, North Africa, and Western Asia. Its wood is reddish, close-grained and flexible; the bark, a mottled bright brown; the twigs pubescent; the leaves scattered, short-stalked, irregularly serrate, downy and roundish, turning yellow in autumn. The flowers are monoecious and precocious, occurring, that is, before the leaves in February or March - the male in pendulous yellow catkins and the female in small oval sessile, ascending catkins with crimson stigmas. The bracteoles unite to form the leafy cupule or husk to the nut, which in the filbert (q.v.) is enclosed by it. A variety (jntrpurea) has handsome bronze-purple foliage. The wood makes excellent crayon and gunpowder charcoal, and the coppice-shoots are used for hurdles, hoops, hampers, and walking-sticks. A hazel wand is generally used as a divining-rod, and the name is said to be derived from its being the primitive royal sceptre. The American Hamamelis virginica, from which Pond's Extract is prepared, is sometimes known as witch-hazel. The hazel is the badge of the clan Colquhoun.