Carpinus caroliniana

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Musclewood, Hornbeam, Blue-beech


Plant Specifics

Size:to 30 ft tall by 15-25 ft wide
Life Span:Long-lived perennial
Flower Color:Yellow
Fruit Color:Green,brown
Phenology:Deciduous. Inconspicuous blooms in spring. Fruits ripen in summer.
Noted for:Interesting bark, Fall color, Interesting foliage


Recommended Uses:Retain if in the landscape. Can be used as a specimen plant in areas not subject to root disturbance.
Considerations:Said to be difficult to transplant as it does not tolerate root disturbance. Grows slowly.
Availability:Native nurseries, Seed
Light: Part Shade,  Shade
Moisture Tolerance:
always floodedextremely dry
 (Stays Wet ----- to ----- Somewhat moist, no flooding)
Moisture Tolerance: Stays Wet ----- to ----- Somewhat moist, no flooding
Salt Water Flooding Tolerance:Not salt tolerant of inundation by salty or brackish water.
Salt Spray/ Salty Soil Tolerance:Low/no tolerance of salty wind or direct salt spray
Soil or other substrate:Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH:Acidic to neutral



Birds and other wildlife eat the seeds but it is not a favorite.


Larval plant for tiger swallowtail (Papilio glaucus), striped hairstreak (Satyrium liparops), and red-spotted purple or white admiral (Limenitis arthemis) butterflies.

Native Habitats:River floodplains

Distribution and Planting Zones

Natural Range in Florida
USDA Zones

Suitable to grow in:
8A 8B 9A 9B 

USDA zones are based on minimum winter temperatures


Ethnobotany:Very hard wood.