Botanical name: Ostrya
Botanical name: Ostrya
Hop-hornbeams are a group of small deciduous trees (reaching 20 m maximum). These trees have exceptionally hard wood, making them useful for applications that require toughness and durability. Though difficult to work with, the wood is used to make plane soles and tool handles. Some species of hop-hornbeams are occasionally planted as ornamentals, but some foresters regard these trees as weeds.
Species of Hop-hornbeams
Japanese hop-hornbeam is a fascinating plant known for its unique characteristics. Its delicate leaves and graceful branches add beauty to any garden landscape. With its economic value, japanese hop-hornbeam has been used for various purposes such as woodworking and traditional medicine. It also attracts a variety of insects and birds, making it a valuable addition to any wildlife-friendly garden. Its name originates from its place of origin, Japan. Interestingly, japanese hop-hornbeam is remarkably similar to common hazel trees, but it can be distinguished by its distinct bark texture and smaller leaf size. Overall, japanese hop-hornbeam is a remarkable plant with interesting features that make it stand out in any garden.
European hop hornbeam
European hop hornbeam (Ostrya carpinifolia) is a slow-growing deciduous tree found around the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea. It prefers montane environments where it can get plenty of sun. European hop hornbeam has good cold and frost resistance for the winter months. It is sometimes planted ornamentally for the shade and its attractive canopy.
The american hophornbeam has multiple uses and functions. As a plant, it provides important food sources to birds, particularly the ruffled grouse, through its buds and catkins. The lumber of the american hophornbeam is used to make tool handles and fence posts. The quality, porousness, and hardness of the wood also make it a common choice for making longbows.
Zhejiang hop-hornbeam (Ostrya rehderiana) is a deciduous tree related to birch and is endemic to Zhejiang, China. The conservation status of this tree is critically endangered as only five trees are known to exist in the wild. The tree has simple, serrated leaves and can grow up to 15 m tall.