Ostrya virginiana

American Hophornbeam or Ironwood

Tips for Homeowners:

Prefers moist, acid soils with generous mulching. Can be difficult to start, but is durable when established. 

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This tree is slow-growing with showy, exfoliating bark and hop-like fruit clusters.  The wood is extremely hard and will test the cutting tools, but with this tree the tools will remain in storage.

  • Pyramidal to round form
  • Tolerates part shade
  • Yellow in fall

Grows best in the company of other trees in well-drained soil.  Best in eastern and central Kansas. 

Height: 25-40 ft
Spread: 20-30 ft
Zone: 3-9
Color: Green

Interesting Notes about American Hophornbeam:

Native, understory tree that has leaves similar to the birch tree and that have a tendency to drop early.  Both male and female flowers are catkin type where the female produces a sac with seeds inside and the male catkin looks like the fruit of hops persisting into winter.

Characteristics & Attributes


  • Specimen
  • Attractive fruit
  • Native
  • Slow Growing
  • Drought Tolerant
  • Naturalizing
  • Disease Resistant
  • Low Maintenance

Foliage Color:

  • Yellow
  • Green


  • Full Sun
  • Partial Sun

Critter Resistance:

  • Deer Resistant


  • Upright

Soil Moisture:

  • Average Water