A fruiting hazel of complex parentage. Bark slightly more fissured than in Corylus avellana; leaves often distinctly lobulate; husk slightly longer than the nut, the margin deeply and jaggedly lobed (images at One Green World 2023 and Great Plains Nursery 2023).
USDA Hardiness Zone 4
RHS Hardiness Rating H7
Cecil Farris, an amateur hazelnut grower from Michigan, experimented in the 1970s with introducing the genes of Corylus colurna into some of the best fruiting selections of C. avellana/C. maxima, in a search for non-suckering plants with improved hardiness and resistance to Eastern Filbert Blight (EFB). He used two hazels, ‘Faroka’ and ‘Morrisoka’, which had been bred by Jack Gellatly in British Columbia as hybrids of C. colurna (C. × colurnoides), and successfully fertilised them with pollen from an old European fruiting clone, ‘Royal’. In 1989 Farris released ‘Grand Traverse’ (named after the county in northern Michigan) as a seedling of ‘Faroka’, though genetic analyses suggest that the pollen parent could not have been ‘Royal’ (Molnar 2011; Great Plains Nursery 2023). ‘Grand Traverse’ is still recommended as a nut tree for north-eastern North America and is remarkably resistant to EFB.
In 1990 Farris also released Corylus ‘Lisa’ as an open-pollinated seedling of ‘Grand Traverse’, presumably back-crossed with a European hazel clone (Molnar 2011).
Another hybrid of ‘Faroka’ has been selected by Ernie Grimo in Ontario and named Corylus ‘Alex’ (‘Grimo 186M’) (Muehlbauer, Capik & Molnar 2021).