Harry Lauder's Walking Stick

Corylus avellana 'Contorta'

This tree in the east triangle is a green mound of foliage in the summer, but when its leaves drop in autumn it stands out for its contorted limbs. See Wikipedia entry here.
Contorted hazelnut or filbert in east triangle surrounding pink granite plaque commemorating Baldwin Park
Filbert factoids:
  • Nuts of the Corylus genus are called hazelnuts, filberts, or cobnuts. Some people will claim that Corylus avellana yields hazelnuts and Corylus maxima yields filberts, but depending on region the nut terms may be used interchangeably. The Contorta variety like ours do not produce nuts.
  • The genus name comes from the Greek word "korylos" meaning helmet, which the husk on the nut resembles.
  • The "filbert" name may be derived from the time of peak harvest in late August. August 20 is the feast day of St. Philbert, a French saint.
  • 25% of the world's hazelnuts are used to make Nutella.
  • Our Corylus avellana carries the variety appellation "contorta" due to its twisted branches best seen in winter. This variety is naturally occurring. 
  • It is monoecious, having separate male and female flowers on the same shrub. The males are hanging catkins in early spring, and the females are tiny right above the male flowers.
Sir Henry Lauder (1870-1950)
Lauder was a Scottish singer and comedian known for his crooked walking stick. By 1911 he was the highest paid performer in the world, and was knighted in 1919 for his help in raising money for the British effort in World War I. The contorted filbert was given its common name in his honor.

Matthias Baldwin Park 

423 N 19th St 

Philadelphia, PA 19130

Friends of Matthias Baldwin Park is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that works to preserve the Matthias Baldwin Park

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