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Ostrya virginiana - (Mill.)K.Koch.

Common Name Ironwood, Hophornbeam, Hop Hornbeam American, Hop Hornbeam Eastern
Family Betulaceae
USDA hardiness 3-9
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Rich moist woods[43, 227], it is also found on dry gravelly slopes and ridges, often in the shade of oaks and other large trees[82].
Range Eastern N. America - Nova Scotia to Manitoba, Nebraska, Florida and Texas.
Edibility Rating    (0 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
Ostrya virginiana Ironwood, Hophornbeam, Hop Hornbeam American, Hop Hornbeam Eastern


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Ostrya virginiana Ironwood, Hophornbeam, Hop Hornbeam American, Hop Hornbeam Eastern

 

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Summary

Bloom Color: Brown, Green. Main Bloom Time: Early summer, Late summer, Mid summer. Form: Oval, Pyramidal, Rounded.


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of lolypop
Ostrya virginiana is a deciduous Tree growing to 15 m (49ft) by 12 m (39ft) at a slow rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 4. It is in flower in September. The species is monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant).
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

O. virginica. Carpinus ostrya. C. virginiana.

Habitats

Woodland Garden Canopy;

Edible Uses

None known

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.
Antirheumatic  Astringent  Blood tonic  Haemostatic  Pectoral

The bark is astringent, blood tonic and haemostatic[257]. A decoction of the bark is used to bathe sore muscles[257]. An infusion of the bark can be held in the mouth to relieve the pain of toothache[257]. An infusion of the heartwood has been used in the treatment of lung haemorrhages, coughs and colds, catarrh and kidney problems[257]. It is also used as a herbal steam bath in the treatment of rheumatism[257].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

Wood

Wood - close-grained, very hard, very strong, durable. It weighs 51lb per cubic foot. The wood is of a very high quality but the tree is not large enough to be used commercially. It is used locally for posts, mallets, tool handles and applications where resistance to wear is essential[11, 46, 61, 82, 103, 226, 227, 229]. A very good fuel, though it is almost impossible to split[226].

Special Uses

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Landscape Uses:Firewood, Pest tolerant, Specimen, Street tree, Woodland garden. An easily grown plant, succeeding in most soils[11].Thrives in any good loam, including chalk[200], it does not demand much light. Prefers a deep open loam. A rather slow-growing tree[227]. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[200]. Special Features: North American native, Attractive flowers or blooms.

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

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Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame, it normally germinates in spring. The germination rate is variable but usually good[78]. 'Green' seed, harvested when the embryo has fully formed but before the outer coat has dried, sown immediately in a cold frame germinates very well. Stored seed requires stratification, 3 months warm then 5 months cold usually works well but germination can take 18 months[200]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the cold frame for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

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
Ostrya carpinifoliaHop HornbeamTree15.0 5-9  LMHSNDM002

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.

 

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Expert comment

Author

(Mill.)K.Koch.

Botanical References

1143200

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

David Buck   Thu Nov 23 2006

Ironwood is not that difficult to split if using a heavy maul.

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