Carpinus caroliniana

American Hornbeam, Blue-beech, Ironwood, Musclewood, Water-beech

Form and Growth Characteristics:
Plant Type - Tree
Growth Rate - Small to medium, multi-stemmed, bushy shrub or single-stemmed tree with a wide-spreading, flat or round-topped (often irregular) crown. Slow growth rate (8-10’ over a 10 year period)
Mature Height - 20-30’
Mature Width - 20-30’
Longevity -

Ornamental Characteristics:
Flower - Monoecious- male and female flowers on same plant; male 1-1.5” long not ornamentally important; female yellow-green catkin, 2-4” long on a 3-lobed 1-1.5” long bract, the middle lobe the widest (1” diameter), toothed. Blooms in April
Fruit - Small, ribbed, seed-like nutlet, borne at base of 1-1.5” long, 3-lobed bract, about 1” long; the middle largest; numerous nutlets are held together in pendulous chain-like clusters, entire infructescence 2-4” long. Changing green to brown Sept-Oct.
Leaf - Alternate, simple, 2.5-5” long, 1-2” wide, rounded or heart-shaped, glabrous, dark green, often lustrous, 10-14 vein pairs, pilose on veins beneath and with auxiliary tufts of hair, veins seldom forking at ends; petiole-0.25-0.5” long, pubescent.
Fall Color - Yellow, orange, red and reddish purple in the fall.
Bark - Smooth, thin, dark bluish gray, close fitting, sinewy, fluted with smooth, rounded, longitudinal ridges; wood-heavy and hard.
Other Features -
Possible Use - Has a lot to offer our landscapes in subtle beauty; will serve as a hedge, screen, formal element
Season Of Interest -

Culture and Care:
Care Requirements - Performs best in deep, rich, moist, slightly acid soils although will grow in drier sites; does well in heavy shade and is often found as an understory plant in forests; Difficult to transplant - move in winter to early spring;
Native Habitat - Nova Scotia to Minnesota, south to Florida and Texas. Introduced 1812.
Diseases and Insects - Leaf spots, cankers, twig blight, maple Phenococcus scale, two-lined chestnut borer.
Strength - Withstands periodic flooding.
Weakness - male flowers are not ornamentally important blooms in April

Plants of this taxon:

Find Related Plants:
- Other plants with the common name Hornbeam.
- Other plants of the family Betulaceae.
- Other plants of the genus Carpinus.
- Other plants of the species Carpinus caroliniana.