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zenofwatering.com » Blog Archive » Blue Hophornbeam (Carpinus caroliniana)

Blue Hophornbeam (Carpinus caroliniana)


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In our area of North Florida there are two very unusual trees that occur naturally–the blue hophornbeam (Carpinus caroliniana ) and the hop hornbeam ( Ostrya virginana). I believe this is the former. They never grow very big maybe 25 feet tall. What distinguishes them is nothing during the Spriing and Summer or at least that is how I view them as just some understory tree. But in the Fall and particular the winter, they are the only understory trees that retain their leaves which hang downward and stay that way. Until one day in the Spring when they drop all the leaves and the new leaves start. i have never been able to catch that day. I’m not a botaanist and ca’t tell them apart except that I thinned my front forest and have two of each as part of creating some diversity. You can tell this is the Deep South because the photo above has a bit of Spanish moss–which is not a moss but I will discuss that some other day. The treesare known for their very strong trunks as “ironwood.” They established themselves quickly when planted out of 3 gallon pots and receive no special care.

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