Popweb - a guide to the plant types, pollen and ecosystems of Northern Europe
Popweb logo
Corylus avellana (Hazel)

Corylus avellana is common throughout the British Isles, except in the Shetland Islands, dominating north-western regions, in particular north-east Ireland. It favours oceanic conditions with mild winters as it flowers very early in the year, although is very susceptible to early spring frosts which are characteristic of these areas (Godwin, 1975). It grows up to altitudes of 610m and is widely distributed throughout Europe. Corylus avellana is particularly common in coppice form (Rackham 1980), constituting a natural under-storey in oak and ash woodlands. It is habitually coppiced at approximately 10-12 year intervals especially in south-east England, forming the coppice with oak standard formations characteristic of English woodland. Today, most of these shrub layer communities have been planted and are almost purely hazel, but it is so abundant that traditionally it probably also dominated the under-storey. It also can become locally extensive in roadside and streamside scrub in the north and west of Britain (Godwin, 1975).


©2001 Queen Mary, University of London. Please Email your comments.