The American hazel is native to the eastern parts of North America; it is smaller than the European hazel (C. avellana), broad and multi-stemmed. Also the leaves are smaller than in its European cousin, and their autumn colour a showy combination of yellow-green, yellow, orange, rose-red and purplish tints.
American hazel is also attractive in early spring when it produces lots of long decorative flower catkins at the shoot tips. The almost invisibly small female flowers grow throughout the summer into small nuts which are almost completely hidden by protective lobed husks. Forms producing larger, tasty nuts are also grown commercially in America. Experience with the species in Finland is very limited but at Mustila it has grown successfully for over half a century.