A complex hybrid with a compact upright habit, and reddish-purple leaves with elaborate double lobing, fading through summer to brownish-green; male catkins very few (Molnar 2011; Smith & Mehlenbacher 2002).
USDA Hardiness Zone 4
RHS Hardiness Rating H7
Red-leaved European hazels as well as hybrids of Corylus colurna were both incorporated in a breeding programme started at Oregon State University in 1968 by Harry Lagerstedt in the hope of producing new commercial rootstocks which were resistant to Eastern Filbert Blight (EFB) and which produced few suckers; Lagerstedt reasoned that if the basal sprouts had red young leaves this would also make it easier for the nut grower to spot them (Molnar 2011). Ironically, the only product of this programme which remains commercially available is an ornamental selection.
In 1984, a sister-seedling of Corylus ‘Ruby’ (q.v.) was crossed with an open-pollinated hybrid between the European hazel ‘Barcelona’ and, mostly likely, another old red-leaved selection grown as ‘Rode Zeller’ (i.e. ‘Rotblättrige Zellernuss’), to produce a plant of neat, compact habit, whose leaves have attractively frilly, double-toothed margins and whose pigmentation fade from reddish purple to browny green more slowly than in similar clones. ‘Rosita’ was selected from the resultant progeny in 1999 and is moderately resistant to EFB; one demerit is the very sparse show of male catkins (Smith & Mehlenbacher 2002).