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Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic
Despite being one of the hardest of native* woods, Hop-hornbeam is undesirable in commercial forests. It provides interest as an ornamental though, with fluted trunk, exfoliating bark, and drooping clusters of sac- like pods that resemble the fruit of hops, hence its common name.
*It is native to DC and most counties in PA. In DE, it is rare in the Piedmont and absent in the Coastal Plain. In VA, it is common in the mountains, frequent in the Piedmont, and infrequent in the Coastal Plain.
The word strobilus usually conjures up an image of a conifer seed cone, but the structure of pale green bracts that enclose the seeds of hop-hornbeam is also called a strobilus.