Corylus avellana ‘Red Dragon’

purple leaf contorted filbert

  • © Shawn Mehlenbacher/Oregon State University

Outstanding Qualities

This relatively new purple leaf contorted filbert seems to follow the "Goldilocks effect" making it "just right!" The branching is neither too little, which would cause a leggy appearance, nor too much, which would create an overly dense canopy. The degree of contortion is also right in the middle going to neither extreme. The growth habit of 'Red Dragon' is, therefore, "just right" making it possible to maintain a desirable form with minimal or no pruning. The somewhat curled leaves are a dark red-purple and the coloring is maintained much longer through the summer than other selections. To top it off 'Red Dragon' shows excellent resistance to Eastern filbert blight, much more so than earlier cultivars.

Quick Facts

Plant Type: spreading tree

Foliage Type: deciduous

Plant Height: 8 ft. 0 in. (2.44 meters)

Plant Width/Spread: 5 ft. 0 in. (1.52 meters)

Plant Height-Mature: 15 ft. 0 in. (4.57 meters)

Plant Width-Mature: 10 ft. 0 in. (3.05 meters)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 4 to 8

Flower Color: purple

Sun/Light Exposure: full sun or light shade

Water Requirements: occasional watering

Seasonal Interest: decorative catkins in late winter, dusky purple-red foliage in summer, & contorted form in fall and winter

Colors & Combos

Great Color Contrasts: chartreuse, cream, gold, silver, white, yellow

Great Color Partners: blue, orange, pink, red

Culture Notes
This tree grows best in full sun and rich, well-drained soil, but will tolerate light shade and heavy clay soil provided there is good drainage. Pruning requirements should be minimal and suckering is less common than on other filberts.
Geek Notes
Developed at Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon