American Hornbeam, Blue Beech, Ironwood, Musclewood
Eastern US, Nova Scotia south to Florida, west to Minnesota and Texas
Deep, moist, rich,slightly acid soils
Screens, hedge grouping, clean specimen of a street tree. It has a pleasant fall color show early in the season. Older trees have irregularly fluted bark that resembles flexed biceps, hence the tree's comon name Musclewood.
Alternate, simple, 2.5 to 5 inch long, 1 to 2 inch wide, ovate-oblong shape, acuminate apex, margin is sharp and double serrate, base rounded or heart shaped. Yellow to orange fall color.: fall:fall:reddish orange in fall:fall
Buds are imbricate small .25 inch long 4-ranked scales, narrow ovate to oblong shape, pointed reddish brown-black buds. Scales are often downy on edges.
Smooth, thick, dark gray.
Monoecious. Male 1 to 1.5 inch long, female 2 to 4 inch long.
Small bibbed, irregular 3 lobed bract, 1 inch long, green to yellow-green to brown mature.