Corylus avellana Red Majestic

posted in: Gardening | 11

Whether it’s filigree, serrated, glossy, red, black, silver or green foliage plants come in all shapes, forms and colours. One new addition last year was Corylus avellana Red Majestic which I wrote about here: Corylus contorta Red Majestic. It has twisting stems and crinkled leaves just like it’s green relative commonly known as Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick.  What makes this corylus shrub so different is its stunning purple/ red leaves and its purplish pink catkins in February.  Mine didn’t produce catkins in 2011. Consequently I’m hoping that now that it’s a little more established in the garden that it will in 2012.


The shrub is supposed to be more compact that the green Corylus avellana Contorta. Though it has a tendency to send out the very odd green shoot which can be pulled away very easily.  The best leaf colour is maintained when it’s grown in full sun. However mine is growing in a semi shaded position. It will probably grow to about 2 metres but it can be kept to a more compact size through pruning in Spring. Likewise its bare twisted stems are popular to use in floral art.


It grows here between a Phyllostachys aurea and an Acer palmatum Orange Dream. While the chartreuse coloured flowers of the Alchemilla mollis grow at its base.  Dark almost black coloured Aquilegias compliment the foliage in spring. In addition to the purple flowers from the Clematis viticella Flore Pleno on the fence behind it during late summer.


Corylus avellana Red Majestic


corylus red majestic

1: Small photo top left – Alchemilla mollis
2. Large photo bottom left – Corylus avellana Red Majestic during the golden hour
3. Large photo top right – Corylus avellana Red Majestic against the yellow bamboo
4. Bottom photo left and rightcolumbine flowers and Acer palmatum Orange Beauty

For me the best time of the day to see its foliage in all of its beauty is about an hour before the sun sets as the light diffuses through the leaves. Lots of the foliage in the garden faces west and that golden light hour rejuvenates the leaf colours and brings them into another dimension.


What are your favourite foliage plants at this time of year in the garden?

Follow Rosie Nixon:

Photography Tutor and Gardener

Rosie is a garden photographer, writer and nature lover. She enjoys soaking up nature and is easily distracted from doing the weeding by anything that flutters, flies, buzzes, creeps or crawls! She enjoys sharing the beauty of creation through her photography. Rosie has been featured on TV on BBC2's The Beechgrove Garden and she uses the outdoors as her natural light studio. Her work can be seen at one of Scotland's only photography galleries - Close Gallery, 4b Howe Street, Edinburgh. She also writes and shares her nature images on

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11 Responses

  1. Gatsbys Gardens

    Hi Rosie,

    Love your choice of photos especially the maples.

    I would have to say my favorites this time of year are my roses, Mary Rose and Carefree Beauty the most stunning. Then my Clematis, Fireworks, a new daylily Eileen Clymer because it is so early blooming and striking, and last but not least my huge hostas and ferns woven through them, Japanese and Ghost Ferns.


  2. scottweberpdx

    Beautiful post…the Corylus is such a stunner…I know I would have planted one in a heartbeat if I had the room! Right now, I'm particularly smitten by my Rodgersias…they are so lovely right now. My Amsonias are still small, but really wonderful already, such great texture. Persicarias 'Lance Corporal' and 'Red Dragon' are looking wonderful this year too…so much great foliage!

  3. debsgarden

    Beautiful photos! My favorite foliage plants this time of year are all my jap maples and my weeping deodar cedar 'Feelin Blue'. And I love the variegated hydrangea and the heucheras and the hostas and the pistache tree and the fothergilla…

  4. greggo

    My favorites currently are Rudebeckia hirta 'Endless Summer', foliage of Peroskvia and Stipa tenuissima. Achillea 'terra cotta' has a unique bloom color, I have used it between hirta,peroskvia, and stipa. A unique combination. Your photos are great!

  5. lotusleaf

    Leaves are so beautiful. I liked your fern, which is the only foliage I have seen .I have some interesting foliage too- all tropical.

  6. Pam's English Garden

    Dear Rosie, My shade garden has so many colors and textures at this time of year that it is hard to pick. I love the contrast between my ferns and hostas. Beautiful posting. P. x

  7. Alistair

    Hi Rosie, we have the Corylus avellena 'contorta' I didn't know there was a red leafed variety. Your pictures are very beautiful. So many plants with gorgeous leaves, hard to pick favourite. I do like the small leaves on the Silver Birch which creates just the right dappled shade, and the Alchemilla Mollis is abundant in our garden.

  8. Curbstone Valley Farm

    I've always loved Harry Lauder's Walking Stick, just not sure I've seen the red-leaved cultivar before, but it's lovely. Winter though is when it's at its most recognizable, with all the contorted stems, and definitely makes for a unique feature in the garden!

  9. Andrea

    Rosie – you have a lot of beautiful colors there. However, you put Origanum vulgare, but i cant see it. I am interested to see how its flowers and leaves really look like (as if i cannot look it up in the net). LOL. regards.

  10. kanak7

    Love the colours in your garden. And amazing photography again! I'd love to try out the golden hour photography too!:)

    Thanks for commenting on the Indian laburnum. I remember seeing those long yellow clusters in your garden too…that was beautiful! Right now my caricature plant is doing well.