Have you ever wanted to add a completely unique plant to your garden? This week we are featuring a plant that is one of the most unique plants that we have seen - Corylus avellena Contorta, commonly called Harry Lauder's Walking Stick or Contorted Filbert. What makes this shrub so unusual is that the stems grow into contorted, twisted shapes. The branches, twigs and even the leaves are corkscrew twisted.

Every Harry Lauder's Walking Stick was propagated from a single plant that was discovered in an English hedgerow in the 19th century. The branches will add outstanding winter and early spring interest to your garden. They are particularly ornamental in early spring when they are covered with pendulous catkins. Contorted Filbert works well planted as a specimen or as a contrast to more traditional shrubs. The branches can be cut and forced in water indoors. When the catkins dry they can be removed and the naked branches can remain handsome without water for years.

Planting and Care

Harry Lauder's Walking Stick performs well in average, well-drained soil in full sun to light shade. Occasional thinning of the branches will help accentuate the contorted form. Expect it to reach ten feet high and wide.

For best results, plant in early spring or fall.

Does best in full sun with some protection from the hottest afternoon sun. Also performs well in full sun and light shade.

Fertilize with Cottonseed Meal and Kelp Meal in early spring and late fall.

Hardy in Zones 5-8

Click here to view Harry Lauder's Walking Stick on the Carroll Gardens website.