Ironwood, Hophornbeam

The hophornbeam is closely related to the hornbeams (Carpinus species) and both represent 8 to 10 species of small deciduous trees. They have alternate leaves that are toothed similar to the birches. In the spring, they produce catkins and carry their seeds in a small nut enclosed in a bladder like involucre. They are native to areas of Southern Europe, Asia, North America and Central America.

Hophornbeam wood is very dense and heavy, thus the other common name, Ironwood. The Greek word, Ostrya, means "bone like."



Ostrya carpinifolia European Hophornbeam
O. virginiana  



  Car Pinus species - Hornbeam Ostrya - Hophornbeam
Height 45 feet 60 feet
Fruit Small hard nutlets in leaflike bracts born in pendulous clusters Bladderlike pods in pendulous clusters
Catkins Not evident in winter Obvious all winter
Bark Smooth "muscular" Rough scaly


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