Ironwood (Ostrya virginiana)
As this small, graceful tree ages, it becomes more rounded in habit. A worthy native tree, it is recommended for a naturalistic garden. The flowers are not ornamentally significant. The fruits, nutlets that mature in fall, resemble the fruit of hops. This small tree has finely shredded, attractive bark and one of the hardest of all woods. Hop hornbeam is a native tree of rich woodlands. Related to birches but without the insect and disease problems, this tree is best known for hoplike papery seedpods that dangle from its branches in early autumn.
Illinois native species.