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Carpinus caroliniana - Walter.

Common Name American Hornbeam, Blue Beech, Ironwood, American Hornbeam
Family Betulaceae
USDA hardiness 3-9
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Usually found as an understorey tree in rich woods and the borders of streams and swamps in deep rich moist soils[43, 82, 229].
Range Eastern N. America - Nova Scotia to Ontario, south to Florida and Texas.
Edibility Rating    (1 of 5)
Other Uses    (2 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (1 of 5)
Care (info)
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Carpinus caroliniana American Hornbeam, Blue Beech, Ironwood,  American Hornbeam


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Carpinus caroliniana American Hornbeam, Blue Beech, Ironwood,  American Hornbeam

 

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Summary

Bloom Color: Orange, Yellow. Main Bloom Time: Early spring, Late spring, Mid spring.Form: Oval.


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of lolypop
Carpinus caroliniana is a deciduous Tree growing to 12 m (39ft) by 10 m (32ft) at a slow rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 5. It is in flower from April to May, and the seeds ripen in November. The species is monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and is pollinated by Wind.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

C. americana.

Plant Habitats

Woodland Garden Canopy; Secondary;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Seed
Edible Uses:

Seed - cooked[105]. An emergency food, used when all else fails[177].

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Astringent

American hornbeam was employed medicinally by some native North American Indian tribes, though it is not used in modern herbalism[257]. The inner bark is astringent[257]. An infusion has been used in the treatment of diarrhoea and difficult urination with discharge[257].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

Wood

Wood - heavy, close grained, very hard, strong, but not very durable in the soil. It weighs 45lb per cubic foot. Too small to be exploited commercially, this high quality wood is often used locally for flooring, cogs, tool handles, golf clubs etc[46, 61, 82, 171, 226, 227, 229, 235]. It is especially suitable for making levers[171] and is also a good fuel[61].

Special Uses

Espalier

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Landscape Uses:Espalier, Pest tolerant, Hedge, Standard, Superior hedge, Specimen, Street tree, Woodland garden. Thrives in any good loam, including chalk, it does not demand much light[1, 11]. Prefers a deep open loam[1]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. A slow-growing and short-lived tree in the wild[229], it is slower growing than C. betulinus in cultivation[11]. Seed production is cyclic, a year of heavy yields being followed by 2 - 4 years of low yields[229]. Special Features: North American native, Attracts butterflies, Inconspicuous flowers or blooms.

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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Fahrenheit:

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Plant Propagation

Seed - best sown in an outdoors seedbed as soon as it is ripe[78]. Germination is usually good, though it may take 18 months[80]. If collected whilst still 'green' (after the seed is ripe but before it has dried fully on the plant) and sown immediately it should germinate in the following spring[80]. Grow the plants on for two years in the seedbed and then plant them out into their permanent positions in the winter. The average seed viability is around 65%[98]. Pre-treat stored seed with 4 weeks warm and 12 weeks cold stratification and sow in a cold frame[98]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a cold frame until they are at least 15cm tall before planting them into their permanent positions.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

NORTHERN AMERICA: Canada (Ontario, Québec), United States (Connecticut, Indiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Texas)

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Carpinus betulusHornbeam, European hornbeam, Common Hornbeam, European HornbeamTree25.0 5-7 MLMHFSNM023
Carpinus cordata Tree15.0 4-8 SLMHSNM002
Carpinus laxiflora Tree15.0 4-8  LMHSNM002

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.

 

Expert comment

Author

Walter.

Botanical References

1143200

Links / References

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Subject : Carpinus caroliniana  
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