Plant types and subtypes: Trees & Shrubs, Trees, Deciduous
Light Requirements: sun, part-sun, part-shade
Water Use: low
Soil Moisture: dry, moist
Soil Description: acid, neutral, alkaline, rich, average, poor, loam, clay, sand, gravel/rock
Bloom Time: March, April, May, June
Bloom Color: white
Leaf Color: green
Hardiness Zone: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Additional Tags: attracts birds, drought tolerant, fall interest, shade garden plant, showy fruit
Pricing & Availability
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Ostrya virginianaAlso known as:
Though Ostrya virginiana is commonly an understory tree, it will also thrive in full sun where it can reach heights of up to 50'. Mature specimens have reddish, scaly pealing bark. Catkins emerge at the same time as the new leaves. It produces nutlets contained in papery clusters resembling hops. These are attractive and persist well into winter, providing a valuable food source for wildlife. The oval serrated leaves are typical of other members of the Birch family, and turn yellow in fall.
Ironwood is easily grown in any light and soil condition, provided it is given proper drainage. It is drought resistant, has a shallow root system, and is intolerant of persistently wet soils. Due to its extensive native range, it may bloom as early as March in the south, and as late as June in the north. Zones 3-8
Propagate from freshly collected seeds, that have been carefully and thoroughly removed from their papery casings. Stored seeds will do best if subjected to cold stratification.
This slow growing tree can be used as an alternative to introduced elms and is well adapted to urban environments. It produces the hardest wood of any north American native tree, giving it the common name ironwood. The common name hophornbeam, is a reference to the similarities between its fruit, and hops.
Native Range & Classification
Recorded County Distribution: USDA data
AL, AR, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, VA, VT, WI, WV, WY