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Ostrya virginiana (Eastern hop-hornbeam) | NPIN
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Ostrya virginiana (Eastern hop-hornbeam)
Fannon, Carolyn

Ostrya virginiana

Ostrya virginiana (Mill.) K. Koch

Eastern hop-hornbeam, Hophornbeam, Ironwood

Betulaceae (Birch Family)

Synonym(s): Ostrya virginiana var. lasia, Ostrya virginiana var. virginiana

USDA Symbol: osvi

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

A tree with a trunk that looks like sinewy muscles and a rounded crown of slender, spreading branches. Eastern hop-hornbeam or ironweed is a graceful, understory tree, typically growing 30-50 ft. Conical shape, especially when young, the deciduous tree becomes more rounded at maturity. Loose bark, in narrow, rectilinear strips, covers the often twisting trunk. Catkins appear just before or with the appearance of new leaves. Oval-pointed, mature leaves vary in size and turn a mild yellow in fall. Fruits are borne in a hanging, hoplike structure.

The common name refers to the resemblance of the fruit clusters to hops, an ingredient of beer. The nutlets and buds are eaten by wildlife, such as bobwhites, pheasants, grouse, deer, and rabbits. Also called Ironwood, for its extremely hard tough wood, which is used for tool handles, small wooden articles, and fenceposts. Planted as an ornamental but slow-growing.

 

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Tree
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf: Green
Autumn Foliage: yes
Fruit: Green, Brown
Size Class: 36-72 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Yellow , Green , Brown
Bloom Time: Apr

Distribution

USA: AL , AR , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , MS , NC , ND , NE , NH , NJ , NY , OH , OK , PA , RI , SC , SD , TN , TX , VA , VT , WI , WV , WY
Canada: MB , NB , NS , ON , PE , QC
Native Distribution: N.S. to FL Panhandle, w. to Man., e. ND, e. KS & e. TX; also Crook Co., WY
Native Habitat: Well-drained, deciduous woods

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry , Moist
Soil pH: Circumneutral (pH 6.8-7.2)
CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium
Soil Description: Rich, well-drained soils.
Conditions Comments: Hophornbeam is appropriate for shady locations but also does well in sun, developing a broader crown there. It is not sensitive to drought but will not tolerate flooding. Resistant to insects (except the gypsy moth), disease, wind, ice, and most stresses of urban living. Notoriously sensitive to salt. Slow-growing.

Benefit

Use Wildlife: Some food value to songbirds and small mammals.
Use Other: This is one of the hardest and toughest of the native woods. It was once used for runners on sleighs. (Hosie)

Only occasionally does this tree grow as much as 30 feet high, or produce a trunk a foot thick, nor does it occur abundantly enough to make it commercially profitable. (Peattie)
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Attracts: Birds

Propagation

Description: Sow immediately after collection or pre-treat and sow in early spring.
Seed Collection: Collect seeds when involucres begin to dry – late summer through October. Wear gloves as the seed clusters can cause itchy fingers. Spread in shallow layers to complete drying. Beat fruit in a sack and separate from the debris by winnowing. Cold stratification is the best means of storing over winter.
Commercially Avail: yes

Find Seed or Plants

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

From the National Suppliers Directory

According to the inventory provided by Associate Suppliers, this plant is available at the following locations:

American Native Nursery - Quakertown, PA
Toadshade Wildflower Farm - Frenchtown, NJ

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Pineywoods Native Plant Center - Nacogdoches, TX
Delaware Nature Society - Hockessin, DE
Georgia Native Plant Society - Atlanta, GA
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE

Wildflower Center Seed Bank

LBJWC-MLE-36 Collected 2010-09-24 in Cherokee County by Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

1 collection(s) available in the Wildflower Center Seed Bank

Bibliography

Bibref 1620 - Gardening with Native Plants of the South (Reprint Edition) (2009) Wasowski, S. with A. Wasowski
Bibref 841 - Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants (2006) Burrell, C. C.
Bibref 318 - Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region (2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

Webref 3 - Flora of North America (2008) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.

Recommended Species Lists

Find native plant species by state. Each list contains commercially available species suitable for gardens and planned landscapes. Once you have selected a collection, you can browse the collection or search within it using the combination search.

View Recommended Species page

Additional resources

USDA: Find Ostrya virginiana in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Ostrya virginiana in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Ostrya virginiana

Metadata

Record Modified: 2013-10-25
Research By: JAM

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