Family: Betulaceae, birch family
Genus, species: Carpinus caroliniana
Also known as Blue Beech or American Hornbeam
Leaves are very similar to leaves of hop hornbeam. Leaves are elliptical in shape, long-pointed at tip, with prominent veins. Edges of leaves are double-toothed, with large teeth interspersed by small teeth.
Bark is smooth, gray, looks sinewy, like muscles. Hop hornbeam, in comparison, has shredded bark.
Male and female flowers are separate. Male flowers are larger greenish catkins. Female flowers are smaller, reddish-green catkins.
Fruit is a nutlet surrounded by a three-lobed leaflike structure
Ironwood has very tough wood. Wood is used to make tool handles.
Carpinus is from the Latin for "hornbeam." The species name, carolineanus, literally means from Carolina (either North or South Carolina).