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Hornbeam

Carpinus betulus

Plant Data

Order:
Fagales
Family:
Corylaceae (Hazel)
Flowering Months:
JAN  FEB  MAR  APR  MAY  JUN  JUL  AUG  SEP  OCT  NOV  DEC
Flowers:
Green male hanging catkins. Female leafy 3-lobed bracts concealing the nut-like fruit.
Fruit:
The winged fruits called 'samara' contain the nuts. These are papery in appearance and hang down, persisting throughout the winter.
Leaves:
A deciduous tree. Oval, pointed leaves, toothed margins, up to 10cm long. The leaves turn yellow to orange in autumn before they are lost. The leaves look similar to Beech leaves but side-by-side you will notice a clear difference in that they are more crinkly. Hornbeam leaves also have double-serrated edges, whereas Beech leaves have no serrations and slightly wavy edges.
Maximum Size:
30 meters tall.
Foraging Notes:
The nuts are edible but are rock hard so eating them would probably be as a last resort.
Never consume a wild plant unless you are 100% certain that it is safe to eat and you know that you have identified it correctly.
Other Names:
Charmille, Common Hornbeam, European Hornbeam, Horn Beech, Horse Beech, Hurst Beech, White Beech, Yoke Elm.
Habitats:
Gardens, hedgerows, parkland, woodland.