Hornbeam Carpinus betulus




Scientific Name: Carpinus betulus (Betulaceae).


English Name: Hornbeam (Birch family).


French Name: Charme.


5 Key Characters:
  • 3 lobed leafy bract cupped around green oval nut.
  • downy twigs.
  • leaves with jagged edges (sharply double-toothed), pleated on veins.
  • large tree (up to 30m but usually smaller).
  • smooth grey bark, trunk fluted.

Lookalikes: Beech Fagus sylvatica, which is much less common here and has smoother edged leaves and nuts enclosed in a woody cup.


Habitat: Woodlands and hedgerows, especially on sandy clay.


Flowering Period: April-May. Monoecious, with separate male and female catkins on the same tree.

Status: Locally common.


Photographed by Loire Valley Nature:

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