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Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick Corylus avellana ‘Contorta’

As the curled leaves drop to the ground in fall, the contorted silhouette of Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick provides a unique silhouette in the fall and winter garden.

This unique cultivar of European filbert has curled and twisted stems that are beautiful in the garden and flower arrangements. It’s hardy in zones 4 to 8 and prefers full to part sun and rich moist organic soils. Mature plants grow 8 to 10 feet tall and wide. 

Most Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick plants are grafted onto European filbert species.  Remove any suckers that form from the rootstock. These stems will be straight and vigorous and detract from the plant’s unique form. Eliminate this problem by purchasing plants growing on their own roots whenever possible.

Two-to three-inch-long cylindrical flowers dangle from the twisted stems in spring before the leaves emerge.

A bit more information: This filbert’s common name was inspired by Sir Harry Lauder. He was an internationally famous entertainer during and after World War I. He often appeared in Scottish attire and carried a contorted walking stick thought to be carved from the contorted filbert.

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