Sunday 29 August 2010

Deptford trees: Turkish Hazel

As well as an aged Mulberry tree, Sayes Court Gardens is home to three Turkish Hazel trees (Corylus Colurna).

I noticed one of the trees as I passed through the gardens yesterday - the ground beneath what I thought at a glance was a lime tree was carpeted with peculiar looking seed cases and was being raided by several squirrels. The seed cases are like regular hazel nut cases but look like they need a good haircut, and rather than being a bush, like the common hazel, it is a tree.

Although not native to England, it seems that they are fairly common in London as they are tolerant of urban conditions.

The nuts are edible but are small and have a thick shell, so perhaps they are best left for the squirrels to fight over!

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