Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Eastern Hop-hornbeam, American Hophornbeam, Ironwood, Leverwood
Ostrya virginiana

Family: Betulaceae (beh-tyoo-LAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Ostrya (OSS-tree-uh) (Info)
Species: virginiana (vir-jin-ee-AN-uh) (Info)

Synonym:Carpinus virginiana
Synonym:Ostrya guatemalensis
Synonym:Ostrya italica var. guatemalensis
Synonym:Ostrya mexicana
Synonym:Ostrya viginiana var. guatemalensis

5 vendors have this plant for sale.

6 members have or want this plant for trade.


20-30 ft. (6-9 m)
30-40 ft. (9-12 m)

20-30 ft. (6-9 m)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Late Winter/Early Spring
Mid Spring
Late Fall/Early Winter
Mid Winter


Other details:
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

Seed Collecting:
Collect seedhead/pod when flowers fade; allow to dry
Wear gloves to protect hands when handling seeds

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1 positive
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Rickwebb On Dec 28, 2013, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

It makes a good medium sized shade tree. It has handsome birch-like foliage that gets a good golden autumn color. It has handsome, interesting shaggy bark. It is slow growing, about 8 to 12"/yr, and develops a taproot so that it is grown only at a few big conventional nurseries. Native plant nurseries are a good source to buy it. It likes well-drained upland soils that are slightly acid or alkaline. It has a big native range over eastern North America. I've seen it as a common forest tree in different spots, not just everywhere, in northern Illinois.

Neutral Terry On Aug 29, 2003, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

Ostrya virginiana is a common tree throughout the eastern U.S. The common name "hornbeam" originated with farmers who used the dense wood for oxen yokes; another (less-used) name for the tree is "Yoke-Elm"


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Morrilton, Arkansas
Colchester, Connecticut
Canton, Georgia
Brookfield, Illinois
Glen Ellyn, Illinois
Orono, Maine
Halifax, Massachusetts
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Frenchtown, New Jersey
Canal Winchester, Ohio
Kennett Square, Pennsylvania
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania
Columbia, South Carolina
Jacksonville, Texas
New Caney, Texas

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