Plant Type: Deciduous Trees
This slow-growing, hardy, medium-sized tree has slender, spreading branches. Hop-like fruits add interest in late summer and the persistent brown leaves add winter interest. Good for street or lawn, it is tolerant of dry locations. 2008 GreatPlants® for the Great Plains winner.
Height: 30-50′. Spread: 25′. Shape: Oval to rounded. Exposure: Full Sun. Foliage: Bright green. Fall Foliage: Golden yellow. Zone: 3-9.
Also referred to as American Hop-hornbeam, Eastern Hop Hornbeam, Hop Hornbeam, Ironwood, Leverwood, and Wooly Hop hornbeam.
Growing & Maintenance Tips:
Foliage ColorBright green summer. Golden yellow in fall.
Characteristics & Attributes
The leaves of Ostrya virginiana are simple, alternate and doubly-toothed. The fruit looks somewhat like the fruit of Hops (Humulus lupulus), hence the common name "hop-hornbeam". The name Ironwood refers to the great strength of the wood which was highly prized for tool handles etc. It is smaller than many other trees and usually does not reach the canopy. The bark of mature Ostrya trees tends to split into narrow vertical strips and becomes somewhat flaky and the appearance is very distinctive. It is common for the trees to hold some of the dead leaves on the branches throughout winter.