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Ostrya virginiana

Eastern Hornbeam / Ironwood

This easy to grow tree covers itself with Birch-like foliage just as its male and female flowers are fully in view. Male flowers are large with catkin-like blooms that persist into the following winter. The Hop-like fruit of the female bloom is as distinct as this plant's solid landscape presence.

Benefits

  • The nutlets are eaten by wildlife, such as bobwhites, pheasant, grouse and songbirds
  • Can be grown in sun or shade, grows broader in sun
  • Showy catkins add winter interest
  • Resistant to disease, wind and ice damage
  • Extremely hard wood used for tool making

Homeowner Growing and Maintenance Tips

Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade.


Height
30-40 Feet

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Spread
20-30 Feet

USDA Hardiness Zone 4-8

Native Range

The dry woodland understory from Maine to Florida west to Texas and North Dakota.

Native Trivia

Named for its fruits that resemble the Hop, this plant's fruit has no value in brewing beer. Also known as Ironwood, this plant's incredibly strong wood was favored by sleigh makers earlier in American history to make long lasting sleigh runners.

Characteristics & Attributes

Sun
Songbirds
Deer Resistant
Plan Sub Group
Deciduous Trees
Exposure
Filtered Shade
Morning Sun / Afternoon Shade
Soil
Well-drained
Wide soil tolerance
Soil Moisture Preference
Average
Dry
Moist but well-drained
Bloom Time
Early Spring
Habitat Collection
Songbird
Native Habitat
Grassland
Foliage Color
Green
Uses
Accent
Meadow
Naturalizes
Specimen
Wind tolerant
Native to
Alabama
Arkansas
Connecticut
Delaware
District of Columbia
Florida
Georgia
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Nebraska
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Vermont
Virginia
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming