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hop hornbeam

noun
1.
any of several Eurasian and North American trees of the genus Ostrya, of the birch family, especially O. virginiana, bearing hoplike fruiting clusters.
Origin
1775-1785
1775-85, Americanism
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Encyclopedia Article for hop-hornbeam

any of about seven species of ornamental trees constituting the genus Ostrya of the birch family (Betulaceae), native to Eurasia and North America. A hop-hornbeam has shaggy, scaling bark and thin, translucent, green leaves with hairy leafstalks. The hoplike, green fruits are composed of many bladderlike scales, each bearing a small, flat nut. The European hop-hornbeam (Ostrya carpinifolia) and the Japanese hop-hornbeam (O. japonica) may reach 21 m (70 feet); the other species are much smaller. The eastern, or American, hop-hornbeam (O. virginiana) is known as ironwood for its hard, heavy wood, used locally for fence posts and small articles such as tool handles.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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