Friday, March 21, 2008


Ironwood (Carpinus caroliniana) is also known as American Hornbeam, but should not be confused with Eastern Hophornbeam (Ostrya virginiana). From Richared Porcher and Douglas Rayner's A Guide to the Wildflowers of South Carolina:

The common name, hornbeam, which comes from "horn" (meaning tough) and "beam" (similar to the German "baum" for tree), accurately describes its wood: close-grained, hard, and heavy. Early Amerians used the wood for mallets, tool handles, wooden ware, dishes, and bowls. The tree is too small to be commercially used for lumber. Small mammals and song birds eat the nutlets.

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