Friday, April 2, 2010

At Last!

Thar she is! Isn't she beautiful?!?!

I rushed right out to the hazelnuts when I got home and peered at every little bud. And there, so tiny they are easy to miss, I saw my first female hazelnut flowers!
And I do mean tiny. These buds are maybe 3mm long. In their entirety!

I have four hazelnut bushes. One is a robust specimen, one rather small, and two that look like collections of dead sticks. The first has had catkins for three or so years, so I was really hoping to get nuts this year. I was surprised to find female flowers on the second as well, since it is so much smaller, but it produced catkins last fall, so I guess it felt like it was ready.

It is my understanding that hazelnuts are wind pollinated (a no-brainer) and do not pollinate themselves. So, perhaps #1 shrub has had female flowers in the past, but because there were no other male flowers nearby but its own, they were never fertilized. So here's hoping that #2 shrub, despite its runty size, will do its thing and maybe, just maybe, I'll have nuts this year...if I'm still here to enjoy them.

OH, and the daphne is ready to burst into bloom, too - will probably see flowers before the week is out.


  1. Ooh, they are so CUTE! Such sprouty, spritzy little puffs of bright red! And I'll bet most folks never see them, because they are so tiny. Thanks for the big clear photos. Good luck on ever enjoying a nut, however, since every critter alive craves Hazelnuts and they snag them even before they are ripe.

  2. Jackie - at this point, I'll be thrilled just to see a nut! Most of the fruit-type plants I plant are for the wildlife, so I don't mind too much if they get my nuts as well. Aren't I a generous spirit? :D