Hazel family (Corylaceae)
Shrub, rarely tree, of heights to 6(10) m. Lifespan up to 80 years. Stems downy. Leaves to 10(13) cm in length, obovate, cordate at base, with short sharp tip, slightly hairy, toothed and somewhat downcurved. Stalk short and hairy. Monoecious, wind-pollinated. Male flowers in hanging catkins already visible in autumn, female at time of flowering show only red stigmata protruding from bud. Nuts up to 2.5 cm in length, covered in leaflets, often in cluster of 2,3,4. Flowers (Feb.)Mar.(Apr.), long before leaves develop.
Broad amplitude regarding habitat: grows in broadleaved and mixed forests. Of considerable biocoenotic value, i.a. as lipid-rich nuts provide sought-after food for rodents and birds.
Descriptions devised by the team at the Independent Department of Forest Botany, Warsaw University of Life Sciences, i.e. L. Witkowska-Żuk, K. Marciszewska, W. Ciurzycki, A. Obidziński and P. Zaniewski