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Ostrya carpinifolia Scop.

Hop Hornbeam

Modern name

Ostrya carpinifolia Scop.


O. vulgaris Willd.; Carpinus ostrya L., in part

A tree 50 to 60 ft high, with a short, stout trunk covered with greyish, ultimately rough, bark, and a rounded head of branches; young shoots covered with short hairs (not gland-tipped). Leaves ovate, sometimes inclining to oval, rounded at the base, pointed and tapered at the apex, 212 to 4 in. long, half as wide, prettily double-toothed, dark green and glossy above, with appressed hairs mostly between the ribs, paler beneath and sparsely hairy, chiefly on the midrib and veins, and in the axils of the latter; veins in twelve to fifteen pairs; stalk about 14 in. long, hairy. Male catkins nodding, 112 to 3 in. long, 14 in. wide, scales finely and abruptly pointed. Fruit cluster 112 to 2 in. long; the nutlets (commonly called ‘seeds’) 16 in. long, stalkless, enclosed at the base of an ovate, hairy, flat, bladder-like husk, 12 in. long.

Native of S. Europe with a western limit in S.E. France; and of Asia Minor and the Caucasus; introduced early in the 18th century. This tree has very much the aspect of O. virginiana but is distinguished by never having any glands on the hairs of the twigs. It is pretty and rather striking when furnished with the pendent hop-like fruit clusters in autumn. The timber has the same bony texture and hardness as hornbeam.

The following specimens have been recorded: Kew, pl. 1878, 36 × 312 ft and another, pl. 1911, 47 × 3 ft (1968); Syon House, London, 54 × 4 ft (1968); Albury Park, Surrey, 42 × 4 ft (1968); Bulstrode Park, Bucks, 43 × 10 ft, grafted on hornbeam at 3 ft (1967); University Botanic Garden, Cambridge, 48 × 5 ft (1969); Killerton, Devon, 63 × 5 ft, with other stems of smaller girth (1970); Edinburgh Botanic Garden, 54 × 434 ft (1967).

From the Supplement (Vol. V)

specimens: Syon House, London, 64 × 514 ft (1982); Bulstrode Park, Bucks., 43 × 1014 ft (1983); University Botanic Garden, Cambridge, 52 × 534 ft (1981); Petworth House, Sussex, 46 × 614 ft (1983); Killerton, Devon, largest 72 × 534 + 5 + 434 ft (1983); Edinburgh Botanic Garden, 52 × 534 ft (1981).



Other species in the genus