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Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Ordo: Proteales

Familia: Proteaceae
Subfamilia: Grevilleoideae
Tribus: Macadamieae
Subtribus: Gevuininae
Genus: Gevuina
Species: G. avellana - G. bleasdalei - G. papuana

Gevuina Molina

USDA, ARS, Germplasm Resources Information Network. Gevuina in the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN), U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service. Accessed: 08-Apr-12.

Gevuina avellana (Chilean hazelnut, avellano chileno in Spanish) is an evergreen tree, up to 20 meters (65 feet) tall. It is the only species currently classified in the genus Gevuina. It is native to southern Chile and adjacent valleys in Argentina. It is found from sea level to 700 meters (2300 feet) above sea level. Its distribution extends from 35° to 44° south latitude.[A] The composite leaves are bright green and toothed, and the tree is in flower between July and November. The flowers are very small and beige to whitish, are bisexual and group two by two in long racemes. The fruit is a dark red nut when young and turns black.[1] The peel is woody.[1] It can grow up straight or branched from the soil, making up either a tree or a shrub.[1]

The name Gevuina comes from guevin, the Mapuche Indian name for the Chilean hazel.[3] The origin of the Spanish name, avellano come from the fact the Spanish settlers found the nuts similar to the hazelnuts they knew from Europe.[1] Yet the species are not closely related.[1]

The concentration of Gevuina avellana in forest is highly irregular and difficult to predict.[1] It may grow on flatland or hilly terrain, in clay or stony soils.[1] Usually Gevuina avellana grows in association to other broad-leaved trees such as Nothofagus obliqua, Nothofagus dombeyi, Nothofagus alpina, Nothofagus glauca or Laureliopsis.[1] Yet it does also grow in associations dominated by the conifers Austrocedrus, Fitzroya and Pilgerodendron.[1] As such Gevuina avellana does not form pure stands.[1]


Gevuina is a genus of either 1 or 3 species of the family Proteaceae. In some classifications, Gevuinia is recognised with three species: one endemic to Australia (Gevuina bleasdalei), another to New Guinea (Gevuina papuana), and one species in both Chile and Argentina (Gevuina avellana). Other taxonomic reports place the Australian and New Guinea species in the genus Bleasdalea[4] or in the Fijian endemic genus Turrillia, and leave Gevuina with only Gevuina avellana.[5] The Flora of Australia retains these 2 species in Gevuinia,[6] but the most recent classification places the Australian and New Guinea species as Bleasdalea bleasdalei and B. papuana[7]
Uses and cultivation
See also: Hazelnut production in Chile

The seeds are eaten raw, cooked in boiling water or toasted. The nuts contain about 12 percent protein, 49 percent oil, and 24 percent carbohydrates.[8] The seed has a very high concentration of monounsaturated oils and is also obtained for several purposes in Chile. It is rich in antioxidants such as vitamin E (α-tocotrienol) and β-carotene. Its oil is an ingredient in some sunscreens. Gevuina oil is used as a cosmetic ingredient for its moisturizing qualities and because it is a source of omega 7 fatty acids (palmitoleic acid).[9][10] Production of seeds may vary greatly from tree to tree.[1]

The tree is a good honey plant for bees and is also cultivated as an ornamental plant. The seed shells contain tannin that is used for tanning leather. The tree has an acceptable frost resistance (at least −12 °C (10 °F)) when mature. The wood is cream-colored with dark brown streaking and is used in cabinetry and musical instruments. It was introduced to Great Britain in 1826. It grows well there, in Ireland and in New Zealand and California. A few specimens are cultivated in Spain[11] and in the Pacific Northwest of the United States.[12] It grows well in temperate oceanic climates with cool temperatures where frosts occur commonly in winter, and has thrived in southern New Zealand. It needs 5 years to first harvest and 7 or 8 years for full production. In Seattle, Washington, squirrels and birds eat seeds from the trees. New varieties of greater yield than the original wild stock are being developed in both Chile and New Zealand.

As of 1982 only a tiny faction of the nuts of wild stands were collected for processing.[1]


In the north Gevuina avellana grows along the coast beyond Itata River[1] as part of the Maulino forest.[2] To the south the plant grows as far as Guaitecas Archipelago.[1]

References and external links

Karmelić V., Julia, ed. (1982-07-01). Recoleccion e industrializacion de avellana chilena (Report) (in Spanish). Intec-Chile.
Bustamante, Ramiro O.; Simonetti, Javier A.; Grez, Audrey A.; San Martín, José (2005). "Fragmentación y dinámica de regeneración del bosque Maulino: diagnóstico actual y perspectivas futuras" [Fragmentation and regeneration dynamics of the Maulino forest: present status and future prospects] (PDF). In Smith, C.; Armesto, J.; Valdovinos, C. (eds.). Historia, biodiversidad y ecología de los bosques costeros de Chile (in Spanish). pp. 529–539.
"Gevuina avellana". Enciclopedia de la Flora Chilena. Retrieved 2009-06-27.
A.C.Smith & J.E.Haas, 1975. American Journal of Botany, 62: 142.
A.C.Smith, 1985. Flora Vitiensis Nova 3: 754.
"ABRS Flora of Australia Online Search Results". Retrieved 23 June 2018.
Weston; Barker, Nigel P. (2008). "A new suprageneric classification of the Proteaceae, with an annotated checklist of genera". Telopea. 11 (3): 339.
Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications 1990 ISBN 0-9628087-0-9
Bertoli, C.; et al. (1998). "Characterization of Chilean hazelnut (Gevuina avellana Mol) seed oil". Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society. 75 (8): 1037–1040. doi:10.1007/s11746-998-0283-5. S2CID 81540094.
FR 2681530 A1 (SO.F.I.A. Cosmetiques (S.A.R.L.)) 26.03.1993
"Plantas de la flora de Chile cultivadas en España" [Chilean plants cultivated in Spain] (PDF). José Manuel Sánchez de Lorenzo-Cáceres. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-03-20. Retrieved 2009-06-27.

"Gevuina avellana in Washington Park Arboretum" (PDF). Seattle Government. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-03-24. Retrieved 2009-06-27.

Rodríguez, Roberto; Mathei, Oscar y Quezada, Max. 1983. Flora arbórea de Chile. Universidad de Concepción. 408p.
Donoso, C. 2005. Árboles nativos de Chile. Guía de reconocimiento. Edición 4. Marisa Cuneo Ediciones, Valdivia, Chile. 136p.
Hoffmann, A. 1982. Flora silvestre de Chile zona araucana. Edición 4. Ediciones Fundación Claudio Gay, Santiago, Chile. 258p.
Muñoz, M. 1980. Flora del Parque Nacional Puyehue. Editorial Universitaria, Santiago, Chile. 557p.
"Gevuina avellana". Enciclopedia de la Flora Chilena. Retrieved 2009-06-27.
"Gevuina avellana in Scotland". PlantenTuin Esveld. Retrieved 2009-06-27.
"Gevuina avellana: Potential for commercial nuts". Acta Horticulturae. Retrieved 2009-06-27.
"A cool climate nut of the Proteaceae plant tropical family" (PDF) New Zealand Crop & Food Research. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-10-14. Retrieved 2009-06-27.

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