Not only are flowers lingering late this year – as mentioned by Chris Foster in his recent blog – but some plants seem to think it’s spring already!
This hazel, seen in the wilderness on the 16th December, is still carrying the leaves that it should have dropped in the autumn and yet it has next year’s catkins open already!!
I often see hazel in flower in January – but December is amazingly early. Clearly no chilling need before flowering.
Clapham, Tutin & Warburg in the 1962 Second Edition of their Flora of the British Isles give the flowering period of hazel as January to April. So, even before we were all worried about global-warming-induced phenological changes, there were years when hazel catkins opened as early as January.