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Corylus (family Betulaceae) A genus of small trees or shrubs which often reproduce by suckering. C. avellana, C. maxima, and others have edible nuts (subtended by leafy bracteoles), the hazel, filbert, and cobnut. Formerly they were coppiced to provide brushwood for fuel and light constructions (see COPPICE). There are about 10 species, which occur in northern temperate forests.