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Trees of Iowa: An Interactive Key

Ironwood
(Ostrya virginiana)


Leaves are alternate, simple, and double-toothed with equal leaf bases.


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The ironwood also called hop hornbeam, is a shade-loving tree of small size with a slender trunk and sparse foliage.  It is found throughout Iowa from dry slopes and ridges to moist slopes in the shade of other hardwoods.

Hardiness: zones

Growth Rate:


Mature Shape:


Height:


Width:


Site Requirements:


Flowering Dates: April - May

Seed Dispersal Dates: August - Fall

Seed Bearing Age: 25

Seed Bearing Frequency:

Seed Stratification: Warm statification for 2 months at 68F to 86F followed by 5 months of prechilling at 34F to 40F
Ironwood LeavesIronwood Form

While closely resembling the leaves of the elm, the leaves are more finely toothed, tissue paperlike in texture and pale green in color.  The buds are small, brown and pointed, and the twigs are much more slender than elm and shiny brown.

Ironwood FlowersIronwood Fruit
Ironwood TwigsIronwood Flowers

The fruit is clusters of leafy, pod like structures which enclose flat, ribbed, pointed nutlets. The light brown or reddish brown bark is finely ridged and covered with fine thin scales.  The ridges are never as heavy as the ridges of elm bark.  Often, the bark tends to spiral up the trunk.

 

Click on a thumbnail image below to view a larger picture.
Ironwood Flowers Ironwood Leaves Ironwood Twigs Ironwood Flowers Ironwood Leaves Ironwood Twigs Ironwood Flowers Ironwood Flowers Ironwood Form Ironwood Fruit Ironwood Leaves Ironwood Twigs Ironwood Twigs Ironwood Twigs Ironwood Twigs