Plant Harry Lauders Walking Stick for Year-Round Interest

Updated: Jan. 26, 2024

Harry Lauder's walking stick offers something new and completely unique in every season. Here's what you need to know before you plant it.

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Harry Lauder's walking stick features twisted brown-gray branches that sport yellow catkins in early spring or late winter.Meinrad Riedo/Getty Images

Harry Lauders walking stick is truly a one-of-a-kind plant. The shrub’s gnarled branches grow in a tree-like form and it offers something not many plants can boast: eye-catching traits in nearly every season.

The show starts in late winter, when not much else is happening in the garden, and progresses throughout the growing season into fall.

Create a year-round garden with these plants for all seasons.

Harry Lauders Walking Stick: Seasonal Benefits


After the leaves drop, the plant’s most prominent feature shines. Twisty brown-gray branches are an architectural sensation in chilly weather. Grown as a small tree or large shrub, there’s nothing quite like it in a winter interest garden.


The long yellow catkins appear late in early spring or late winter, depending on where you live. The dangling catkins are a great source of early spring color before many other plants start to bud.


The summer growing season may be when this plant stands out the least, but it still looks good. Large green leaves are puckered and droopy, 2 to 4 inches long, and hairy on the underside. They tend to hide the shape of the interesting branches.


Harry Lauder’s walking stick briefly bursts with autumn color before the leaves fall. Once the leaves drop, the gorgeous twisty branches are on full display again.

Looking for more orange and red in your garden? Check out the 9 best fall shrubs to grow.

How to Grow Harry Lauders Walking Stick

harry lauders walking stick and cardinalCourtesy Bridgette Leonauskas
Cardinal on Harry Lauders walking stick

Here’s what you need to know before planting one of these shrubs in your yard:

  • Botanical name: Corylus avellana ‘Contorta’
  • Zones: 4 to 8
  • Light: Full sun to part shade
  • Size: 8 to 10 feet tall and wide

Once established, this shrub is fairly easy to grow. The main challenges are its disease resistance and ability to send up suckers from its roots. Keep an eye on the plant in the growing season to snip any wayward shoots and to check on the overall health of the plant.

With careful pruning, you can train the plant to take a shrub or tree-like form. Just take your time. Harry Lauder’s walking stick is slow growing, so too many cuts can leave you with a smaller plant for a while.

Also try these trees and shrubs with berries for birds.

Where to Buy Harry Lauders Walking Stick

harry lauder's walking stickVia

Harry Lauders walking stick may be available at your local garden center. Give them a call to see if they have one in stock. Many online growers also offer this unique plant.

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