American Hornbeam

American Hornbeam

Carpinus caroliniana

Family: Betulaceae

Leaf Type: Deciduous

Mature Height: ~9 m (~30 ft)

Fall Color: yellow to orange-red

Native Range: Eastern United States


The leaves of American hornbeams are serrated, ovals measuring two to four inches. In the fall, the leaves turn yellow, orange and red. The bark of American hornbeams is smooth and gray colored. Blossoming in the spring, the flowers begin looking like leaf buds, and change to green then bright red at their apex.

Fun Facts

● The hard wood has a horn-like polish that was made into bowls and tool handles by early Americans. American hornbeam wood is not used as commonly now due to the size of the tree. 
● American hornbeam is commonly referred to as musclewood due to the distinct muscle-like fluting on the trunk of mature trees.

Did you know that trees provide homes for animals, keep us cool and clean our air? Click here to learn more about the benefits that trees provide to us and our world.

This site has a rich human history, including the story of the Bass Street Community, one of the first Free Black neighborhoods in Nashville. Click here to learn more about St. Cloud Hill and its many inhabitants over the years.

©2024 Adventure Science Center
Español de México