Plant of the week: Contorta

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The corkscrew hazel, Corylus avellana ‘Contorta’, is one of those shrubs which will always catch the eye.

In early spring, yellow catkins hang on the twisted shoots before making way for equally twisted leaves.

It makes a lovely specimen plant, and thrives in a sunny spot and decent soil.

To keep it looking good, remove any suckers which appear at the base. In winter, prune carefully if necessary. There’s also a purple variety – C maxima ‘Purpurea’.