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Ironwood


Classification:

Family: Betulaceae, birch family
Genus, species: Carpinus caroliniana
Also known as Blue Beech or American Hornbeam

Leaves:
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:
Bark is smooth, gray, looks sinewy, like muscles. Hop hornbeam, in comparison, has shredded bark.

Flowers:
Male and female flowers are separate. Male flowers are larger greenish catkins. Female flowers are smaller, reddish-green catkins.

Fruit:
Fruit is a nutlet surrounded by a three-lobed leaflike structure

More Information:

The genus name Carpinus is from the Latin for "hornbeam."  The species name caroliniana literally means from Carolina (either North or South Carolina).

Photos: