A very popular cultivar that is much more common than the species in commerce. Not really a columnar form, but rather develops a dense, formal, pyramidal outline with unrivaled symmetry. Reaches 40' to 50' tall and 20' to 30' wide at the bottom third of the plant. Lacks a true central leader and has numerous , fine upright branches.
Common Names in English:
Columnar European Hornbeam, Columnar Hornbeam, Fastigate European Hornbeam, Fastigiate Hornbeam, Pyramidal European Hornbeam
deciduous, monoecious. Stipules present, free
, often deciduous, rarely persistent
. Leaves alternate, simple
, usually doubly serrate, rarely simply serrate, lobulate
, or entire; veins pinnate. Flowers unisexual
. Male inflorescence precocious
, pendulous, with numerous
overlapping bracts; each bract usually subtending
a small dichasium with 1-3 male flowers; stamens as many as and opposite sepals or, if sepals obsolete
, then stamens of inflorescence to 20; filaments
very short, connate
or nearly so; anthers
2-loculed, thecae connate or separate, opening by longitudinal
slits. Female inflorescence pendulous or erect
, with numerous overlapping bracts; each bract subtending a small dichasium with 2 or 3 flowers; calyx with 1-6 scalelike lobes
, or obsolete; petals absent; ovary inferior, 2-loculed; styles 2, free; ovules 2, or 1 by abortion
, pendulous from near apex of each locule. Fruit a nut or nutlet
or not. Seed 1, with straight embryo and flat or thickened cotyledons, without endosperm.
Six genera and 150-200 species: mainly in Asia, Europe, and North and South America; six genera (one endemic) and 89 species (56 endemic) in China.
Because of evolutionary divergence within the Betulaceae, the family has often been divided into tribes (i.e. , Betuleae, Carpineae, and Coryleae) or more recently into subfamilies (J. J. Furlow, J. Arnold Arbor . 71: 1-67. 1990) .
, 8--25 m
usually 1, branching mostly deliquescent, trunk and branches irregularly longitudinally ridged
of trunk and branches bluish to brownish gray, thin, smooth
, close [thicker, broken
generally inconspicuous. Wood
nearly white to light brown, very hard and heavy, texture
fine. Branches, branchlets
, and twigs
conspicuously 2-ranked; young twigs differentiated into long and short shoots
. Winter buds
, 4-angled in cross
, apex acute; scales
many, imbricate, smooth. Leaves on long and short shoots, 2-ranked. Leaf blade
to ovate, elliptic
, or obovate
with 10 or more pairs of lateral
veins, 3--12 × 3--6 cm, thin, margins
doubly serrate to serrulate
; surfaces abaxially glabrous
, sometimes covered with small glands
. Inflorescences: staminate
catkins solitary or in small racemose clusters
, lateral, formed previous growing season
and enclosed [exposed] in buds during winter, expanding with leaves; pistillate
catkins distal to staminate on short, leafy new growth, solitary, ± erect
; bracts and flowers uncrowded. Staminate flowers
in catkins 3 per scale, crowded together on pilose
receptacle; stamens 3(--6), short; filaments
part way to base
into 2 parts, each 1-locular, apex pilose, Pistillate flowers 2 per bract. Infructescences
racemose clusters of paired
bracts, clusters pendulous, elongate; paired bracts deciduous with fruit, expanded, (1--) 3-lobed, variously toothed
, each bract subtending 1 fruit. Fruits small nutlets
, deltoid, longitudinally ribbed
, often crowned with persistent
sepals and styles. x
Species ca. 25: mostly north temperate zone; Europe, Asia (s to India, Iran).
In the flora , Carpinus consists of a single native species , C. caroliniana, which is composed of two fairly distinctive geographic races (J. J. Furlow 1987, 1987b), treated here as subspecies . Worldwide it includes about 25 species, some of which become large trees. The European C. betulus is frequently planted in North America and persists long after other signs of human development have vanished. It seldom escapes , however, and it has not become naturalized . In the mountains of Mexico and Central America, the larger C. tropicalis (Donnell Smith) Lundell is widespread in the temperate forest zone.
Closely related to Ostrya, Carpinus is easily recognized by its smooth, gray, often fluted stems and racemose infructescences consisting of pairs of uncrowded, foliaceous, 3-lobed bracts, each subtending a small triangular nutlet . The staminate (but not the pistillate) catkins develop in the autumn and are enclosed within buds throughout the winter prior to anthesis (in Ostrya, these are exposed during the winter). The pistillate catkins are produced on the first new growth in the spring .
Of relatively minor economic importance, Carpinus has limited use for its very hard wood, especially in Europe, where it is used for making mallet heads , tool handles, levers, and other small, hard, wooden objects.
ID Features: Yellow, pea-like flowers. Upright, multistemmed, columnar habit. Even pinnate leaves. Glossy, greenish stems. Spur-like growth on older wood. Twigs with conspicuous decurrent lines. Stipules persist and sometimes are nearly thorn-like.
Flowers: Small yellow, pea-like flowers. Blooms in early to mid-May. Held singly or in groups of up to 4. Not overwhelming. • Bloom Period: March. • Flower Color: Yellow • Flower Conspicuous: Inconspicuous
Foliage: Toothed • Foliage Shape: Ovate • Normal foliage color: Green • Underside foliage: Green • Juvenile foliage: Green • Mature foliage: Green • New foliage: Green • Spring foliage: Green • Summer foliage: Deciduous leaves. Alternate arrangement of evenly pinnate leaves. Leaves are 1.5" to 3" long. Leaves have 8 to 12 leaflets . Leaflets are 0.5" to 1" long. Leaflets are 0.5" to 1' long. Leaflets are ovate to ovoid . Leaves are silky when young. Foliage color matures to a bright green. • Fall foliage: Yellow-green color. Not impressive.
Growth Rate: Moderate to fast. • Size: Reaches 40' to 50' tall and 20' to 35' wide at the bottom third of the plant.
Landscape Uses: Borders . Screen/hedge. Windbreaker. For difficult growing sites. Container plant due to tolerance of cold and drought . • Liabilities: Leaf-hoppers. A canker disease/affliction. Not an overwhelming ornamental plant. • Care: Follow a regular watering schedule during the first growing season to establish a deep, extensive root system . Watering can be reduced after establishment. Feed with a general purpose fertilizer before new growth begins in spring .
Culture: Full sun . Tolerant of adverse growing conditions. Doesn't mind poor, dry soils. Tolerant of extreme cold. Tolerant of salt. Tolerant of winds. Fixes nitrogen.
Soil: Tolerates wide range of soils but needs good drainage . • Minimum pH: 6.1 • Maximum pH: 8.5
Sunlight: Sun Exposure: Full to part sun.
Moisture: Water Requirements: Once established needs only occasional water.
- Whittaker & Margulis,1978
- Haeckel, 1866
- Cavalier-Smith, 1981
- Sinnott, 1935 ex Cavalier-Smith, 1998
- Vascular Plants
- Kenrick & Crane, 1997
- Brongniart, 1843
- Takhtajan, 1967
- (Engler, 1892) Takhtajan, 1997
- Engler, 1892
- Gray, 1821
- Birch Family
- C. Linnaeus, 1753
- Hornbeam [Latin carpinus, hornbeam, possibly from carpentum, a Roman horse-drawn vehicle with wheels made from its hard wood]
- Specific epithet:
- Botanical name: - Carpinus betulus 'Fastigiata' Linnaeus
- Cultivar: Fastigiata
- Specific epithet: betulus - Linnaeus
- Genus: Carpinus () - C. Linnaeus, 1753 - Hornbeam [Latin carpinus, hornbeam, possibly from carpentum, a Roman horse-drawn vehicle with wheels made from its hard wood]
- Tribe: Carpineae ()
- Subfamily: Coryloideae ()
- Family: Betulaceae () - Gray, 1821 - Birch Family
- Order: Fagales () - Engler, 1892
- Superorder: Faganae () - (Engler, 1892) Takhtajan, 1997
- Subclass: Rosidae () - Takhtajan, 1967
- Class: Spermatopsida () - Brongniart, 1843
- Infraphylum: Radiatopses () - Kenrick & Crane, 1997
- Subphylum: Euphyllophytina ()
- Phylum: Tracheophyta () - Sinnott, 1935 ex Cavalier-Smith, 1998 - Vascular Plants
- Subkingdom: Viridaeplantae () - Cavalier-Smith, 1981
- Kingdom: Plantae () - Haeckel, 1866 - Plants
Members of the genus Carpinus
ZipcodeZoo has pages for 21 species, subspecies, varieties, forms, and cultivars in this genus:
C. betulus (European Hornbeam) · C. betulus 'Asplenifolia' (European Hornbeam) · C. betulus 'Fastigiata' (Columnar European Hornbeam) · C. betulus 'Globosa' (European Hornbeam) · C. betulus 'Incisa' (European Hornbeam) · C. betulus 'Pendula' (Hornbeam) · C. betulus 'Quercifolia' (European Hornbeam) · C. betulus 'Streetwise' (Common Hornbeam 'streetwise') · C. betulus 'Vienna Weeping' (Hornbeam) · C. caroliniana (American Hornbeam) · C. caroliniana caroliniana (American Hornbeam) · C. caroliniana var. Crimson Cloud (Crimson Cloud English Hawthorn) · C. caroliniana virginiana (American Hornbeam) · C. cordata (Heartleaf Hornbeam) · C. fangiana (Fang Hornbeam) · C. japonica (Japanese Hornbeam) · C. laxiflora (Hornbeam) · C. orientalis (Eastern Hornbeam) · C. turczaninovii (Korean Hornbeam) · C. turczaninowii (Korean Hornbeam) · C. viminea (Hornbeam)
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- Li Pei-chun & Cheng Sze-hsu. 1979. Betulaceae. In: Kuang Ko-zen & Li Pei-chun, eds., Fl. Reipubl. Popularis Sin. 21: 44-137.
- Furlow, J. J. 1987. The Carpinus caroliniana complex in North America. I. A multivariate analysis of geographical variation. Syst. Bot. 12: 21--40.
- Furlow, J. J. 1987b. The Carpinus caroliniana complex in North America. II. Systematics. Syst. Bot. 12: 416--434.
- Winkler, H. 1914. Neue Revision der Gattung Carpinus. Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 15(suppl.): 488--508.
- Winstead, J. E., B. J. Smith, and G. I. Wardell. 1977. Fruit weight clines in populations of ash, ironwood, cherry, dogwood and maple. Castanea 42: 56--60.
- American Plant Food Company, 7405 River Road, Bethesda MD.
- Brands, S.J. (comp.) 1989-present. The Taxonomicon. Universal Taxonomic Services, Zwaag, The Netherlands. Accessed January 10, 2012.
- Merrifield Garden Center, Fairfax VA USA
- UConn Plant Database of Trees, Shrubs, and Vines. Accessed May 19, 2006.
- Zipcode Zoo Species Identifier: 405205