Any of about 15 species of deciduous trees and shrubs that make up the genus Corylus, in the birch family, native to the northern temperate zone; also, the edible nuts they produce. Choice nuts are produced by two Eurasian trees, the European filbert (C. avellana) and the giant filbert (C. maxima), and by hybrids of these species. Some varieties are valuable hedgerow and ornamental trees. An oil from C. avellana is used in food products, perfumes, and soaps; the tree yields a soft, reddish-white timber that is useful for small articles such as tool handles and walking sticks.
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