Alphabetical Plant Listing

Ostrya virginiana (American Hop Hornbeam)

Eastern Hop-hornbeam, American Hop-hornbeam, Woolly Hop-hornbean, Eastern Ironwood, Roughbark Ironwood, Ironwood, Deerwood, Leverwood, Ostrya virginiana var. lasia, Ostrya virginiana var. virginiana


Long-lived (150 years), Ostrya virginiana (American Hop Hornbeam) is a slow-growing, small to medium-sized deciduous tree of pyramidal habit in youth, developing an oval to rounded crown over time. The foliage of birch-like, elliptical or ovate, finely serrated, medium green leaves, 5 in. long (12 cm), turns a lovely yellow in the fall. In spring, the flowers appear in separate male and female catkins which persist in winter. The female catkins are followed by dangling, pale green, hop-like papery fruits in summer. They are used by birds and small mammals. The attractive orange to reddish brown bark peels off in longitudinal strips, making American Hop Hornbeam adding further interest to the winter landscape. The wood and branches are very resistant to breakage from wind, ice, and snow. American Hop Hornbeam is a wonderful understory tree that is useful as a specimen or around decks and patios as a shade tree.

  • Grows up to 20-40 ft. tall (6-12 m) and 20-30 ft. wide (6-9 m).
  • A full sun or part shade lover, this plant is easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soils. Can tolerate dry gravelly soils in partial shade. Drought tolerant once established, it does not stand prolonged flooding. Ostrya virginiana is usually not very tolerant of high concentrations of salt.
  • Perfect for shady landscapes and naturalized or woodland gardens.
  • Low maintenance, this plant needs little pruning to develop a strong structure.
  • No serious pest or disease issues. Deer resistant.
  • Sow immediately after collection or pre-treat and sow in early spring.
  • Native to eastern North America, Mexico, Canada.

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Requirements

Hardiness 5 – 9
Heat Zones 2 – 9
Plant Type Trees
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 20' – 40' (6m – 12m)
Spread 20' – 30' (6m – 9m)
Water Needs Low, Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United States, Midwest, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Northeast, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Rocky Mountains, Wyoming, Southeast, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Southwest, Oklahoma, Texas
Tolerance Clay Soil, Deer, Drought, Dry Soil
Attracts Birds
Garden Styles Prairie and Meadow

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Melissa McMasters, Katja Schulz (Flickr), Christopher Mousseau, Wildnerdpix (Shutterstock)

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 5 – 9
Heat Zones 2 – 9
Plant Type Trees
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 20' – 40' (6m – 12m)
Spread 20' – 30' (6m – 9m)
Water Needs Low, Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United States, Midwest, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Northeast, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Rocky Mountains, Wyoming, Southeast, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Southwest, Oklahoma, Texas
Tolerance Clay Soil, Deer, Drought, Dry Soil
Attracts Birds
Garden Styles Prairie and Meadow

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