Ostrya virginiana - Eastern Hornbeam

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Part ShadeBird Friendly
Eastern Hornbeam
Ostrya virginiana

This easy to grow tree covers itself with Birch-like foliage just as its male and female flowers are fully in view. Male flowers are large with catkin-like blooms that persist into the following winter. The Hop-like fruit of the female bloom is as distinct as this plant's solid landscape presence.

The nutlets are eaten by wildlife, such as bobwhites, pheasant, grouse and songbirds
Can be grown in sun or shade, grows broader in sun
Showy catkins add winter interest
Resistant to disease, wind and ice damage
Extremely hard wood used for tool making

Native Range

The dry woodland understory from Maine to Florida west to Texas and North Dakota.

Interesting Facts

Named for its fruits that resemble the Hop, this plant's fruit has no value in brewing beer. Also known as Ironwood, this plant's incredibly strong wood was favored by sleigh makers earlier in American history to make long lasting sleigh runners.


Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade.

Mature Size: 30-40ft. Tall x 20-30ft. Wide

Hardiness Zone: 4-8

Sun Exposure: Part Shade

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