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**Common Names:**
– Common English name ‘hornbeam’ comes from the hardness of the woods
– American hornbeam is also known as blue-beech, ironwood, or musclewood
– The botanical name for the genus is Carpinus
– Some etymologists derive the genus name from the Celtic for a yoke

– Hornbeams are small, slow-growing, understory trees
– Leaves are deciduous, dark-green, and simple with a coarsely-serrated margin
Hornbeam flowers are wind-pollinated pendulous catkins
Fruit is a small nut about 3–6 millimetres long
– The shape of the wing of the seed is important in identifying different hornbeam species

– Carpinus is placed in the subfamily Coryloideae of the family Betulaceae
– The fossil record of the genus extends back to the Early Eocene
– Some taxonomists segregated hornbeams with hazels and hop-hornbeams
– The species Carpinus perryae is described from fossil fruits found in Washington
– Carpinus is paraphyletic, with subg. Distegicarpus making it so

– Carpinus betulus L. is the European hornbeam found in Europe to Western Asia
– Carpinus tropicalis is found in Mexico and Central America
– Carpinus tsaiana is located in Yunnan and Guizhou
– Carpinus tschonoskii Maxim. is Chonowskis hornbeam found in China, Korea, Japan
– Carpinus turczaninovii Hance is the Korean hornbeam found in China, Korea, Japan

**Distribution and Habitat:**
– Hornbeams occur across much of the temperate regions of the northern hemisphere
– The greatest number of species is in east Asia, particularly China
– Only two species occur in Europe
– Only one species is found in eastern North America
– One species is located in Mesoamerica

– Hornbeams are used as food plants by larvae of some Lepidoptera species
– Some Lepidoptera species that feed on hornbeams include autumnal moth and common emerald
Hornbeam wood is very hard, giving rise to the name ironwood
– The wood is used for carving boards, tool handles, and piano actions
Hornbeam wood is also used in parquet flooring and making chess pieces

Hornbeam (Wikipedia)

Hornbeams are hardwood trees in the plant genus Carpinus in the family Betulaceae. The 30–40 species occur across much of the temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere.

Temporal range: 49.42–0 Ma Ypresian - Recent
European hornbeam foliage
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Fagales
Family: Betulaceae
Subfamily: Coryloideae
Genus: Carpinus

Distegocarpus Siebold & Zucc

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