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any plant of the genus Corylus of the family Betulaceae (birchbirch,
common name for some members of the Betulaceae, a family of deciduous trees or shrubs bearing male and female flowers on separate plants, widely distributed in the Northern Hemisphere. They are valued for their hardwood lumber and edible fruits and as ornamental trees.
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 family), shrubs or small trees with foliage similar to the related alders. They are often cultivated for ornament and for the edible nuts. Hazels are also called filberts, although the latter is more strictly a name for European kinds (C. maxima, C. avellena, and their varieties, e.g., the cobnut) that are cultivated, chiefly in Europe, for the filbert of commerce. Nuts of the American hazel (C. americana) are often gathered but seldom sold. Winter hazel and witch hazelwitch hazel,
common name for some members of the Hamamelidaceae, a family of trees and shrubs found mostly in Asia. The family includes the large genus (Corylopsis) of winter hazels, and the witch hazels (genus Hamamelis), sweet gums (Liquidambar
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 are not related to hazel. Hazel is classified in the division MagnoliophytaMagnoliophyta
, division of the plant kingdom consisting of those organisms commonly called the flowering plants, or angiosperms. The angiosperms have leaves, stems, and roots, and vascular, or conducting, tissue (xylem and phloem).
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, class Magnoliopsida, order Fagales, family Betulaceae.
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meddling maid in the Baxter house. [TV and Comics: Terrace, I, 343]
See: Servant
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


1. any of several shrubs of the N temperate genus Corylus, esp C. avellana, having oval serrated leaves and edible rounded brown nuts: family Corylaceae
2. the wood of any of these trees
3. short for hazelnut
a. a light yellowish-brown colour
b. (as adjective): hazel eyes
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
The treatment was carried out as normal and I made a new appointment in seven weeks' time and told Hazel I would just ring her to remind her about a day before her treatment, she agreed.
For most of the year it is often mistaken for common hazel, until mid-January when the bare twigs of hamamelis are covered with spidery tassels of yellow or reddish scented flowers, which survive even the most severe frost.
Shining like a beacon in an otherwise lifeless garden, the witch hazel is rated more highly than the most splendid spring flowering shrubs, with which it does not compete, standing as it does in splendid winter isolation.
The plant got its name from the early settlers in Virginia who, having discovered a woodland shrub very similar (but unrelated) to the European common hazel, used its branches as divining rods to locate underground springs and streams.
On account of these supposed magical powers it became known as witch hazel, although by the time it was introduced into Europe from the colonies the real magic was found to lie in its winter flowers.
There are five species of witch hazel in the wild, three in North America and one each in China and Japan.
But for the early settlers, the importance of witch hazel, in addition to its water-locating qualities, was not the flowers but the twigs and leaves which the colonists distilled into an essence for treating bruises.
Probably because its leaves are so similar to those of the common hazel, I never paid much attention until having cause to visit the National Trust garden at Bodnant in North Wales not in January but mid-February in the late 1960s where a shrub recently in receipt of an Award of Merit from the Royal Horticultural Society was in flower.
After this I was hooked on witch hazel, never missing an opportunity for a winter visit somewhere or other, the most memorable a garden in Belgium, the Arboretum Kalmthout.
On the latest episode of the series, (https://www.ibtimes.com/90-day-fiance-fans-question-tarik-hazels-relationship-after-tlc-rant-2713715) Hazel expressed her concern about getting Tarik's brother Dean to like her after their initial meeting took a negative turn.
Although he has been attempting to get Tarik to see past his love for Hazel, it appears his brother only has positive thoughts about Hazel's intentions.