Trees , to 18 m; trunks short, crowns open, narrow to broadly rounded. Bark grayish brown or steel gray, shredding into narrow, sometimes rather ragged, vertical strips. Twigs sparsely pubescent to densely velutinous. Leaves: petiole glabrous to pubescent, without stipitate glands. Leaf blade narrowly ovate or elliptic to oblong-lanceolate, (5--)8--10(--13) × 4--5(--6) cm, base narrowly rounded to cordate or cuneate, margins sharply and unevenly doubly serrate, apex usually abruptly acuminate, sometimes acute or gradually tapering; surfaces abaxially sparsely to moderately pubescent (or sometimes densely villous), especially on major veins. Inflorescences: staminate catkins 2--5 cm; pistillate catkins 0.8--1.5 cm. Flowering with leaves in late spring. Infructescences 3.5--6.5 × 2--2.5 cm; bracts 1--1.8 × 0.8--1 cm. 2 n = 16.
"Tree to 20 m; twigs and petioles at first pilose and sometimes glandular, later glabrescent; lvs narrowly to broadly oblong or ovate, short-acuminate, sharply and often doubly serrate; fruiting catkins short-cylindric, 3–5 cm, each inflated sac flattened-ovoid 1–3 cm, bristly at base; nutlet 5 mm; 2n=16. Moist or dry woods and banks; N.S. to Man., s. to Fla. and Tex."
|Eastern hop hornbeam, ironwood, ostryer de Virginie, bois de fer|