Red Dragon Contorted Filbert (Corylus avellana ‘Red Dragon’)

Red Dragon Contorted Filbert

  • Zigzagging Corkscrew Branches
  • Living Sculpture
  • Spreading, Rounded Growth Habit
  • Focal Point Looks Great All Year
  • Excellent Winter Interest
  • Smoky Purple Catkins in Early Spring
  • Deep Burgundy Foliage
  • Unique Wavy Leaves
  • Twisting Branches
  • Can Be Grown in Large Containers
  • Considered Firewise in Many States
  • Easy to Grow in Sun to Part Shade

Great landscape design includes plants with star appeal chosen to delight visitors. Give your garden guests a chance to pause and study this noteworthy character up close and personal.

Red Dragon Contorted Filbert (Corylus avellana ‘Red Dragon’) features bold colors and fantastic twisting stems. This selection is an easy way to bring a dynamic dimension to your landscape.

Curiously twisted bare branches look incredible in wintertime. The look is whimsical and fun, especially when the branches sport a light cap of fluffy white snow.

This is a plant to watch in late winter and early spring. Your winter-hungry eyes will appreciate how the long, smoky-purple catkins drape down and gracefully sway in the last of the cold winds.

As the vivid spring-flowering bulbs start opening, Red Dragon wakes up from its dormancy. Curled, wavy-edged leaves emerge a lush, velvety red-purple.

The deep burgundy foliage color holds into summer. In more shaded positions, the leaves green up, but keep their purple overcast by the end of the season.

Whether you are just getting started telling your own garden story…or have been collecting plants for many years, Red Dragon Contorted Filbert is a wonderful choice. The zig-zag growth pattern just oozes character, doesn’t it?

Once mature, this unique shrub may even produce a few clusters of edible hazelnuts…but they’ll be quickly eaten by local birds and squirrels. Red Dragon is considered an ornamental by our plant experts.

Rely on the presentation of Red Dragon Contorted Filbert all year-long! You’ll stand out from the crowd with this special, rounded shrub with spreading corkscrew branches.

Clip a few for your cut indoor arrangements! Keep this in a Cutting Garden, and you’ll be amazed how versatile they’ll be for crafting.

How to Use Red Dragon Contorted Filbert in the Landscape

Red Dragon may be grown as a tree form or as a shrub form, so do look to see which form you are ordering so you know best how to use it in your landscape. The most obvious use is a specimen plant in either form.

Plant them in the ground…or keep them for many, many, many years in oversized outdoor containers. They’ll decorate garden styles from Cottage to Zen and anything in between.

Try them as a backdrop for Roses, and you’ll have an endearing garden story to study for hours and hours. Place an outdoor table and chairs nearby to host Iced Tea Parties and contemplate their “Beauty and the Beast” contrast with friends.

Make your landscape look larger by simply placing one at the edge of a curve in your border or planting bed. Hide your visitor’s view for a few steps in the journey and you’ll increase anticipation. What’s around the bend?

Consider it a conversation piece or a living piece of sculpture. This is a plant to uplight with exterior lighting pointing up into the spiraling canopy.

If you want a high-end focal point, use them as an anchor in an island bed stolen from the front lawn. A single specimen, or informal grouping of three makes a big statement with little care required.

They partner well with flowering shrubs and perennials. Use them as a noteworthy backdrop in your mixed borders.

You can also use them as a stunning feature in a destination spot. Create a meandering path along the sunny edge of a woodland that ends with a semi-circle of Red Dragons around a hammock stand.

Make the most of your outdoor living with help from our extensive online catalog. Layer in showy shrubs like Red Dragon to keep the visual interest high and your visitors engaged.

Tips for Care

These fun accent plants appreciate full sun in all but the hottest climates. In Zone 9, give them afternoon shade.

Rich, well-drained soil is best. Add a few handfuls of compost during planting, and give their tiny feeder roots life-long support with Nature Hills root booster.

Use a regular schedule of moderate supplemental moisture to establish your plant during the first season. Keep them evenly hydrated each year, especially during hot weather.

Wood mulch helps keep the soil moist and cool. Please pull it back away from directly touching the stems.

Prune a few of the oldest, thickest stems all the way back to the ground in late winter to rejuvenate the shrub form (and back to the graft on the tree form). New growth will emerge from the crown in spring.

Red Dragon Contorted Filbert (Corylus avellana ‘Red Dragon’) Details

Common name Red Dragon Contorted Filbert
Botanical name Corylus avellana 'Red Dragon'
Plant type Deciduous
Hardiness zone 4-9
Growth rate Medium
Height 6 - 8 ft.
Width 6 - 8 ft.
Sunlight Full Sun, Partial Shade
Moisture Medium
Soil condition Well Drained
Pollinator-friendly Yes
Pruning time Late Winter
Flower color Purple