They have simple, rounded leaves with double-serrate margins. The flowers are produced very early in spring before the leaves, and are monoecious, with single-sex catkins, the male pale yellow and 5–12 cm long, the female very small and largely concealed in the buds, with only the bright red 1–3 mm long styles visible. The seeds are nuts 1–2.5 cm long and 1–2 cm diameter, surrounded by an husk which partly to fully encloses the nut.
The Hazel is considered one of the most important trees it is very closely related to the salmon, who eats its nuts of poetic wisdom. Its associations are: intuition; poetry; divination; meditation; wisdom; knowledge and fertility. The nuts have been eaten to gain knowledge, they have also been used as part of a hallucinogenic brew to induce visions. In addition many love spells and aphrodisiacs can be made from its nut.