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Ostrya virginiana Ostrya virginiana

Common Name(s):

  • Eastern Hop Hornbeam
  • Hop Hornbeam
  • Hop Horn Beam
Description

Ostrya virginiana, commonly called American hop hornbeam, is a deciduous tree which usually occurs in dry soils on rocky slopes, upland woods, and bluffs. A small to medium-sized, understory tree with a generally rounded crown. It typically grows 25-40' tall with a slightly smaller spread.

A native deciduous shade tree in the Betulaceae family.  The leaves look similar to and can be confused with birch trees, and its overall form can sometimes be confused with an elm tree.  It has shaggy bark that provides winter interest.  Eastern hophornbeam is small to medium understory tree.  It is low maintenance and works well in urban settings, probably because it tolerates drought and heavy clay soils.  Plant in a lawn, along a driveway, street, or in a woodland garden.  It is sometimes referred to as "ironwood" because of its extremely hard and dense wood.

Regions:  Mountain, Piedmont

Seasons of Interest:

   Bloom: Spring, April  Fruit: Summer-Winter   Bark: Winter

Wildlife Value:  This plant is moderately resistant to damage from deer.  It is a possible host plant for the Red-spotted purple and Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterflies.  Its nutlets are eaten by songbirds, wild turkey, quail and other small mammals.  Witches broom that commonly occurs on this tree provides a home to many invertebrates eaten by songbirds, especially during the winter.  

Insects, Diseases, and Other Pest Problems: No serious insect or disease problems.

This plant may be confused with: Betula lenta, Betula alleghaniensisCarpinus carolinianaAlnus serrulata

Cultivars:
Tags:
#native#butterflies#deciduous#small tree#shade tree#songbirds#bark#drought tolerant#wildlife plant#woodland garden#low maintenance#showy fruit#clay soil#street tree#lawn tree#showy bark#low flammability#deer resistant#fire resistant
Cultivars:
Tags:
#native#butterflies#deciduous#small tree#shade tree#songbirds#bark#drought tolerant#wildlife plant#woodland garden#low maintenance#showy fruit#clay soil#street tree#lawn tree#showy bark#low flammability#deer resistant#fire resistant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Ostrya
    Species:
    virginiana
    Fire Risk Rating:
    low flammability
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    fire in the landscape.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Tree
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
  • Flower:
    Flower Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Hairs Present:
    No
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Woodland
    Design Feature:
    Shade Tree
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer