A shrub up to 8 or 10 ft high; young shoots glandular-hairy. Leaves broadly oval or ovate to roundish, coarsely, irregularly, or doubly toothed, heart-shaped or rounded at the base, pointed; 2 to 5 in. long, 11⁄2 to 31⁄2 in. wide; upper surface with scattered hairs, downy beneath; stalk 1⁄6 to 1⁄2 in. long, glandular-hairy. Male catkins 11⁄2 to 3 in. long. Nut roundish, egg-shaped, about 1⁄2 in. long, slightly flattened and set in a husk (involucre), which is nearly double its length, downy, much and deeply toothed.
Native of eastern N. America; introduced in 1798. The American hazel is very similar in habit to C. avellana, but does not grow so high in this country. It is readily distinguished from it in fruit by the involucre being so much longer. Compared with C. avellana, it is of no value as a nut-bearer in this country, and is scarcely needed except for botanical collections.