Filbert (Corylus maxima)

Shrub
C. tubulosa.
Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Filbert
Corylus maxima
Betulaceae

The seed contains up to 65% of a non-drying oil, used in paints, cosmetics etc[13, 46, 57, 132]. The whole seed can be used to polish and oil wood[6]. Very easy and effective[K].

Plants can be grown as a tall hedge[29]. They need to be left untrimmed or only lightly trimmed if seed is required.

Wood – soft, easy to split, not very durable, beautifully veined. Used for inlay work, small items of furniture, hurdles, wattles, basketry, pea sticks etc[7, 13, 23, 46, 61, 63, 66, 125]. The twigs are used as dowsing rods by water diviners[11]. The wood also yields a good quality charcoal, used by artists[63, 101].

  • Medicinal Use

    None known

  • Edible Use

    Seed – raw or cooked[22, 34, 46, 105]. It is rich in oil. Large and well flavoured, it can be eaten raw, cooked in cakes, pies, breads etc or used to make a plant milk[183]. The seed ripens in mid to late autumn and will probably need to be protected from squirrels[K]. When kept in a cool place, and not shelled, the seed should store for at least 12 months[K].

    An edible oil is obtained from the seed.

  • Cautionary Notes

    None known

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – best sown as soon as it is harvested in autumn in a cold frame[164]. Germinates in late winter or spring. Stored seed should be pre-soaked in warm water for 48 hours and then given 2 weeks warm followed by 3 – 4 months cold stratification[164]. Germinates in 1 – 6 months at 20¡c[164]. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a cold frame or sheltered place outdoors for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer[K]. Layering in autumn. Easy, it takes about 6 months[78, 200]. Division of suckers in early spring. Very easy, they can be planted out straight into their permanent positions.
An easily grown plant, it succeeds in most soils, but is in general more productive of seeds when grown on soils of moderate fertility[11, 200]. It does less well in rich heavy soils or poor ones[11, 63]. Does well in a loamy soil[11]. Very suitable for an alkaline soil[11], but it dislikes very acid soils[17]. Plants are fairly wind tolerant[1, 11]. A very hardy plant but the male flowers can be damaged by heavy frosts at flowering time[200]. The filbert is often cultivated for its edible seeds[50], there are many named varieties[63]. It has often been hybridized with C. avellana in breeding programmes[11]. Plants are self-fertile but a more certain crop is obtained if more than one cultivar is grown[200]. The main difference between cob nuts and filberts is that the husk of a filbert is longer than the seed and often completely encloses it, whilst the husk on a cob nut is shorter than the seed[200]. Squirrels are a major pest of this plant, often decimating the crop of nuts[200]. Members of this genus bear transplanting well and can be easily moved even when relatively large[11].
S. Europe to W. Asia.

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.