Shrub Identification Beaked Hazel Nut

(Question)

Maine, USA zone 3-4, shade, poor gravely soil. Inherited land on which previous owner from CT, USA had planted unusual species. This one has me stumped I’m pretty sure it’s not native. In the 10 yrs I’ve been observing this property I’ve never seen this seed pod form on shrub. Thinking it has to do with our unusually wet spring and early summer.

(Answer)

Thank you for contacting Toronto Master Gardeners .

The upper image identifies the shrub as a beaked hazel nut (Corylus cornuta) and the lower image is of the green husk pulled away to reveal the delicious edible nut within. It is a shrub native to North America. As the following article states, this shrub thrives in dry areas, therefore it will grow well without much maintenance.

http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?taxonid=277821&isprofile=0&