Hornbeam, Hop Hornbeam or Ironwood, Ostrya virginiana
Betulaceae or Birch Family

Young leaves

Small tree, to 30-40 feet tall. Leaves oval, pointed, finely double-toothed. Bark shreddy, greyish brown. Male and female flowers in separate inflorescences on same tree. Male flowers are in reddish- or yellowish-green catkins; female flowers are in small greenish, spindle-shaped structures. Blooms mid-spring, although male catkins may be present in bud most of the winter. Fruits are in clusters of brown flattened scales like tiny pinecones.

A native tree, occasional in the Park.

Confusingly, this tree and ironwood, Carpinus caroliniana, share some common names. Their leaves and male catkins are almost identical. However, ironwood has distinctive, smooth, muscular-looking bark, and the fruits are papery, in loose clusters.

  Male flowers  

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