European hornbeam Betulaceae Carpinus betulus
Leaf:Alternate, simple, elliptical to ovate, serrated, 3 to 5 inches long, pinnately veined, veins somewhat sunken on upper surface giving the leaf a distinctly quilted look, slightly doubly serrated, waxy smooth, green above and paler below.
Flower:Species is monoecious; males slender, hanging catkins, yellow-green, 1 to 2 inches long; female catkins with more conspicuous leafy bracts, yellow green and 2 to 3 inches long; appearing in mid to late spring.
Fruit:Small, ribbed nutlet carried on a lobed, slightly serrated, folded leafy bract (1 inch long), bracts are clustered on a long (3 inch) hanging stalk; ripen in early fall and disperse through the winter.
Twig:Slender, smooth, red brown, vertical lighter lenticels; 1/4 inch long buds are green turning to a light brown, slightly angled, pointed and curling slightly around twig; flower buds larger and on older parts of twigs.
Bark:Thin, smooth gray brown when young, splitting into shallow furrows; distinctly fluted trunk.
Form:A small to medium sized tree reaching up to 60 feet tall often with a crooked trunk.