Japanese hornbeam Betulaceae Carpinus japonica
Leaf:Alternate, simple, elliptical to ovate, weakly heart-shaped base (or rounded), serrated, 2 to 4 inches long, pinnately veined, veins deeply 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 coarsely serrated, folded leafy bract (1 inch long), bracts are densely clustered on a 2 to 3 inch long hanging, sausage-shaped, showy cluster, ripen in early fall and disperse through the winter.
Twig:Slender, smooth, red brown, vertical lighter lenticels; 1/4 inch long cone-shaped buds are green turning to a light brown; 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 tree reaching up to 30 feet tall with a dense v-shaped crown.