Ironwood (Ostrya virginiana)

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Ironwood
Give a thumbs up American Hophornbeam
Give a thumbs up Eastern Hop Hornbeam
Give a thumbs up Eastern hop-hornbeam
Give a thumbs up Hophornbeam
Give a thumbs up Leverwood

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Tree
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Partial or Dappled Shade
Partial Shade to Full Shade
Full Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Dry Mesic
Soil pH Preferences: Slightly acid (6.1 – 6.5)
Neutral (6.6 – 7.3)
Slightly alkaline (7.4 – 7.8)
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 3 -40 °C (-40 °F) to -37.2 °C (-35)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 8b
Plant Height: 30 to 50 feet
Plant Spread: 20 to 35 feet
Leaves: Good fall color
Other: Dead leaves often remain on branches over the winter (marcescent)
Fruit: Showy
Edible to birds
Fruiting Time: Summer
Late summer or early fall
Flowers: Inconspicuous
Other: catkins
Flower Color: Brown
Bloom Size: Under 1"
Flower Time: Spring
Suitable Locations: Street Tree
Uses: Shade Tree
Wildlife Attractant: Birds
Resistances: Deer Resistant
Rabbit Resistant
Humidity tolerant
Drought tolerant
Propagation: Seeds: Stratify seeds
Other info: 3 months warm stratification, 3 to 5 months cold strat
Pollinators: Wind
Containers: Not suitable for containers
Miscellaneous: Tolerates poor soil
Conservation status: Least Concern (LC)

Conservation status:
Conservation status: Least Concern

Photo gallery:

Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Jan 17, 2018 4:30 PM

The Eastern Hophornbeam (Ironwood) is a large understory tree in woods growing on upland sites and on hills and slopes, and it is very shade tolerant. Its native range is from Nova Scotia and southeast Canada and New England down to northern Florida into east Texas a little up to northern Minnesota & southeast Manitoba. I have seen it wild in a fair number in certain locations of forest, especially on hills, in northeast Illinois. It leaves that look in between elm & birch are 3 to 5 inches long x 1.5 to 2 inches wide with doubly toothed margins that turn a good golden color in autumn. In late summer one sees clusters of tan bladder-like seed-bearing pods that get to 2 inches long. The shaggy gray-tan-brown bark is pretty. It grows about 8 to 12 inches/year and lives about 150 years. It forms a taproot so it is difficult to transplant and must be moved in early spring as a young tree. I've seen it infrequently planted in parks and public town areas and professional and naturalistic landscapes in the Chicago area. A few large, diverse nurseries and some native plant nurseries sell it. I think it is a wonderful small to medium tree for many landscapes.

[ Reply to this comment | Give a thumbs up ]

Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Tree ID by obliqua Aug 8, 2017 12:23 PM 10
Name this tree by AlyssaBlue Jun 8, 2016 8:39 PM 15
Unknown by treehugger Oct 26, 2015 9:43 PM 64
Tree id needed by threegardeners Jun 7, 2012 8:07 AM 28

« Add a new plant to the database

« The Plants Database Front Page

Today's site banner is by greenappleagnes and is called "Kwanza and Yoshino"

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.