ironwood

(Ostrya virginiana var. virginiana)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not yet assessed

ironwood

NatureServe

N5 - Secure

SNR - Unranked

Minnesota

not listed

Wetland
Indicator
Status

Great Plains

FACU - Facultative upland

Midwest

FACU - Facultative upland

Northcentral & Northeast

FACU - Facultative upland

Nativity

Native

Occurrence

Common

 
Habitat

Moist. Upland deciduous forests, well-drained floodplains. Shade tolerant.

 
Flowering

April to May

     
Flower Color

Green

     
Height

25 to 40

     

Identification

This is an small, slow-growing, short-lived, deciduous tree that rises on a single trunk. It is considered a weed tree. In Minnesota mature trees are usually 25 to 40 tall and 6 to 12 in diameter at breast height.

The crown is broad and rounded or cone-shaped.

The trunk is erect, often crooked, and distinct almost to the top of the tree.

The bark on young trees is smooth and chestnut brown, quickly becoming gray and rough. On mature trees the bark is grayish-brown and is broken into short, narrow, vertical strips that are loose at both ends. The strips often spiral somewhat around the trunk. They are fibrous and easily rub off.

The branches are long, slender, and spreading.

The twigs are slender, reddish brown, zigzagging, and hairy.

The buds are egg-shaped, pointed, slightly hairy, and greenish brown with green scale tips. They spread away from the twig.

The leaves are deciduous, alternate, and simple. They are narrowly egg-shaped or elliptic. usually widest near the middle, 2 to 5 long, and 1 to 2 wide. They are rounded or shallowly heart-shaped at the base. They usually taper to an abrupt, narrow point at the tip with concave sides along the tip. Sometimes they taper gradually to a point at the tip with straight or concave sides along the tip. The upper surface is dark yellowish green and hairless. The lower surface is the same color but hairy, felty and soft to the touch. The veins are straight and parallel and end in a tooth. The margins are sharply toothed, often doubly toothed, from the tip to the base. In the fall the leaves turn dull yellow. Dead leaves tend to remain on the tree throughout the winter.

Male and female flowers are in separate clusters on the same tree. Male inflorescences are dense, drooping, 1 to 2 long catkins in groups of 2 or 3 at the ends of the twigs. In the winter they are short, stiff, and erect. Female inflorescences are in loose, elongated clusters at the ends of new shoots.

The fruits are small, 3 16 to 5 16 long, flattened, nuts enclosed in a flattened, egg-shaped, about 13 16 long, inflated, papery sac. The fruit clusters are 2 to 4 long, have 4 to 10 sacs each, and resemble hops.

 
Similar
Species

 

 
Pests and Diseases

Ironwood leaf gall maker (Eriophyes sp.) creates a small, reddish, smooth, pocket gall on the upper side of the leaf and a small tuft of hairs on the lower side.


Distribution Distribution Map   Sources: 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 24, 28.

Record

The champion ironwood in Minnesota is on private property in or near Wells, in northeastern Faribault County. In 1998 it was measured at 37 tall and 117 in circumference (37 in diameter).

 
Comments

 


Taxonomy

Family:

Betulaceae (birch)

 

Subfamily:

Coryloideae

 
Synonyms

Carpinus virginiana

Ostrya guatemalensis

Ostrya italica var. guatemalensi

Ostrya mexicana

Ostrya virginiana var. glandulosa

Ostrya virginiana var. guatemalensis

Ostrya virginiana var. lasia

 
Common
Names

American hophornbeam

eastern hop-hornbeam

eastern hophornbeam

hop hornbeam

hophornbeam

ironwood

leverwood


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

catkin

A slim, cylindrical, drooping cluster of many flowers. The flowers have no petals and are either male or female but not both.

 

simple leaf

A leaf that is not divided into leaflets, though it may be deeply lobed or cleft.

       

Visitor Photos

   
Share your photo of this plant.

Randy


Eastern hophornbeam, Ostrya Virginiana, growing wild in White's Woods Park, Freeborn County, MN, late November 2016

Trunk

  ironwood    
       

Bark

  ironwood   ironwood
       

This understory species tends to retain withered, peach-colored leaves into winter, similar to young American Beech

  ironwood   ironwood

       
       
       

MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos

   

Tree

  ironwood    
       

Bark

  ironwood   ironwood
       
  ironwood   ironwood
       

Leaves

  ironwood   ironwood
       

Infructescence

  ironwood   ironwood
       
       

 

Camera

     

Slideshows

   
  Ostrya virginiana
Blake C. Willson
 
  Ostrya virginiana  
 
About

American Hop-Hornbeam

 
     
  Ostrya virginiana
UF/IFAS WFREC
 
   
 
About

Published on Nov 20, 2013

No description available.

 
     

 

slideshow

     

Visitor Videos

   
Share your video of this plant.

     
     

Other Videos

 
  Trees with Don Leopold - eastern hophornbeam
ESFTV
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Oct 2, 2011

No description available.

 
     
  Hop hornbeam (Ostraya virginiana)
stjoecrk
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Feb 23, 2012

Some views of the old knobby Hop hornbeams (Ostraya virginiana) in the woods in late winter.

 
     

 

Camcorder

         

Visitor Sightings

   
Share your sighting of this plant.

Randy
late November, 2016

Location: White's Woods Park, Freeborn County, MN

growing wild in White's Woods Park

ironwood


     
     
 

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Binoculars

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