Alphabetical Plant Listing

Carpinus caroliniana (American Hornbeam)

American Hornbeam, Blue Beech, Water Beech, Musclewood, Ironwood


Attractive in all seasons, Carpinus caroliniana (American Hornbeam) is a slow-growing, small to medium-sized deciduous tree of upright-spreading habit with a rounded crown. The branches are covered with ovate, serrated and prominently veined leaves, 2-5 in. long (5-12 cm). Emerging reddish-purple in spring, the foliage turns dark green as the season progresses before warming up to shades of yellow to orange-red in the fall. The flowers appear in spring in separate male and female catkins. The female catkins are followed by distinctive clusters of winged nutlets. Hanging at the tip of the branches, they can be seen through late spring to early fall. In winter, the fluted blue-gray bark with long, sinewy ridges make Carpinus caroliniana a lovely addition to the landscape. Native to eastern North America, American Hornbeam is a wonderful understory tree that is useful as a specimen or in groupings for shady landscapes. It is great for naturalizing along the edges of woodlands and streams or as a street or lawn tree.

  • Grows up to 20-30 ft. tall and wide (6-9 m).
  • A full sun or part shade lover, this plant is easily grown in fertile, dry to moist, well-drained soils. Tolerant of full shade but this tree is more dense and the fall coloring best in full sun. Tolerates a wide range of soil conditions including dry sites, wet sites, alkaline soil, clay soil. Tolerates periodic flooding. 
  • Perfect for shady landscapes and naturalized or woodland gardens.
  • Low maintenance, this plant does not need routine pruning. Remove diseased, damaged, congested or crossing shoots.
  • No serious pest or disease issues. Keep an eye out for leaf spots, cankers or twig blight.
  • Propagate by seed, softwood cuttings or by grafting.
  • Native to Eastern Canada and United States.

Buy Carpinus caroliniana (American Hornbeam)

Requirements

Hardiness 3 – 9
Heat Zones 1 – 9
Climate Zones 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17
Plant Type Trees
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun, Shade
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 20' – 30' (6m – 9m)
Spread 20' – 30' (6m – 9m)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United States, Midwest, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Wisconsin, Northeast, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Southeast, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Southwest, Oklahoma, Texas
Tolerance Clay Soil, Dry Soil, Wet Soil
Attracts Birds, Butterflies
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow

Buy Plants


Wendy Cutler, Katja Schulz (Flickr)

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 3 – 9
Heat Zones 1 – 9
Climate Zones 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17
Plant Type Trees
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun, Shade
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 20' – 30' (6m – 9m)
Spread 20' – 30' (6m – 9m)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United States, Midwest, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Wisconsin, Northeast, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Southeast, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Southwest, Oklahoma, Texas
Tolerance Clay Soil, Dry Soil, Wet Soil
Attracts Birds, Butterflies
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow

Plant Calculator

How many Carpinus caroliniana (American Hornbeam) do I need for my garden?

%
ft
ft

Your Shopping List

Plant Quantity
Carpinus caroliniana (American Hornbeam)

Find your Hardiness Zone

Find your Climate Zone

Find your Heat Zone

Join Gardenia.net

Create a membership account to save your garden designs and to view them on any device.

Becoming a contributing member of Gardenia is easy and can be done in just a few minutes. If you provide us with your name, email address and the payment of a modest $25 annual membership fee, you will become a full member, enabling you to design and save up to 25 of your garden design ideas.

Join now and start creating your dream garden!

Create a New Collection

Optional. For your reference.


Move Selected Plants to a Different Collection


Delete Collection

This field is required.