One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A deciduous tree of north temperate regions, with oval serrated leaves, inconspicuous drooping flowers, and tough winged nuts. It yields hard pale timber.
Genera Carpinus and Ostrya, family Betulaceae: several species, including the American hornbeam (C. caroliniana), the eastern (or hop) hornbeam (O. virginiana), and the European hornbeam (C. betulus)
- ‘But what is interesting for visitors is that the garden is still evolving: a gravel garden with silver plants is surrounded by a cloister of youthful hornbeams.’
- ‘There was a weeping wisteria and a massive hornbeam tree, where we built a tree house.’
- ‘The forest has little undergrowth and is mainly composed of beech and pine, interspersed with a few oaks and hornbeams.’
- ‘He gives four options for the future of the hornbeams: remove the trees and replace them with a more suitable species; phase out the trees by removing two now and the remaining two five years later; thin the trees out or do nothing.’
- ‘In addition you can expect to see rare species of hornbeam, Douglas fir and black gum, and a well-forested block of South Colorado Street.’
Late Middle English: so named because of the tree's hard, close-grained wood.
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