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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



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

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

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


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:

Unknown - Tell us

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


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

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


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.


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"