Mike Klahr, Ph.D. is the Boone County Extension Agent for Horticulture for the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service.

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Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick
by Mike Klahr, Ph.D.       #Plant Profile   #Shrubs   #Unusual



Are you interested in the unusual, or even the bizarre? If so, your curiosity (and that of your neighbors) might be piqued by the uniqueness of the contorted European filbert, a plant fondly known as Harry Lauder’s walking stick, a name that caught on in the early 1900s as world-famous Scottish comedian, Harry Lauder, was commonly seen utilizing a walking stick made from its gnarled and twisted branches.

This unusual shrub is a favorite of landscape designers looking to add interest to the landscape with a specimen plant that also makes a good focal point. Perfect for adding uniqueness to the fall, winter and early spring landscape, the contorted corkscrew branches surprise onlookers with a showy display of tan and yellow catkin flowers hanging down like an abundance of tassels in March.

Common Name: Harry Lauder’s walking stick, contorted filbert

Botanical Name: Corylus avellana ‘Contorta’

Type: Deciduous

Zone: 4-9

Soil: Well-drained, loamy soil; acid or alkaline.

Size: 8-10 feet tall and wide

Exposure: Full sun to light shade

Watering: One inch of water per week during the growing season

When To Fertilize: Fertilize in November or March, based on soil test results

Planting and Pruning: Plant from container or balled-and-burlapped fall or spring; prune rootstock suckers as they arise.

In Your Landscape: Interesting specimen plant/focal point in your landscape above perennial flowers, or in a large container on patio/deck. Add to cut-flower arrangements.


(Photos courtesy of Mike Klahr.)


Posted: 11/18/11   RSS | Print


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