Hop Hornbeam Ironwood Leverwood
=Habitat and Range.=--In rather open woods and along highlands.
Nova Scotia to Lake Superior.
Common in all parts of New England.
Scattered throughout the whole country east of the Mississippi,
ranging through western Minnesota to Nebraska, Kansas, Indian
territory, and Texas.
=Habit.=--A small tree, 25-40 feet high and 8-12 inches in diameter
the ground, sometimes attaining, without much increase in height, a
diameter of 2 feet; trunk usually slender; head irregular, often oblong
or loosely and rather broadly conical; lower branches sometimes slightly
declining at the extremities, but with branchlets mostly of an upward
tendency; spray slender and rather stiff. Suggestive, in its habit, of
the elm; in its leaves, of the black birch; and in its fruit, of
clusters of hops.
=Bark.=--Trunk and large limbs light grayish-brown, very narrowly and
longitudinally ridged, the short, thin segments in old trees often loose
at the ends; the smaller branches, branchlets, and in late fall the
season's shoots, dark reddish-brown.
=Winter Buds and Leaves.=--Buds small, oblong, pointed, invested with
reddish-brown scales. Leaves simple, alternate, roughish, 2-4 inches
long, 1-2 inches wide, more or less appressed-pubescent on both sides,
dark green above, lighter beneath; outline ovate to oblong-ovate,
sharply and for the most part doubly serrate; apex acute to acuminate;
base slightly and narrowly heart-shaped, rounded or truncate, mostly
with unequal sides; leafstalks short, pubescent; stipules soon falling.
=Inflorescence.=--April to May. Sterile flowers from wood of the
preceding season, lateral or terminal, in drooping, cylindrical catkins,
usually in threes; scales broad, laterally rounded, sharp-pointed,
ciliate, each subtending several nearly sessile stamens, filaments
sometimes forked, with anthers bearded at the tip: fertile catkins about
1 inch in length, on short leafy shoots, spreading; bracts lanceolate,
tapering to a long point, ciliate, each subtending two ovaries, each
ovary with adherent calyx, enclosed in a hairy bractlet; styles 2, long,
=Fruit.=--Early September. A small, smooth nut, enclosed in the
distended bract; the aggregated fruit resembling a cluster of hops.
=Horticultural Value.=--Hardy throughout New England; prefers dry or
well-drained slopes in gravelly or rocky soil; graceful and attractive,
but of rather slow growth; useful in shady situations and worthy of a
place in ornamental plantations, but too small for street use. Seldom
raised by nurserymen; collected plants moved with difficulty. Propagated
1. Winter buds.
2. Flowering branch.
3. Sterile flower, back view.
4. Sterile flower, front view.
5. Fertile catkin.
6. Fertile flower.
7. Fruiting branch.
=Carpinus Caroliniana, Walt.=