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European Hornbeam

European Hornbeam Tree
American hornbeam and European hornbeam were both planted early on in Central Park's history. The older, larger hornbeams tend to be European. To distinguish between the two, keep an eye out for the American hornbeam's striking yellow-orange foliage in the fall, a feature lacking in the European hornbeam. South of Glade Arch on the path to Alice in Wonderland, there is a large European hornbeam. There are many others throughout Central Park, including behind the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Common Name: European Hornbeam

Scientific Name: Carpinus betulus

Origin: Europe and western Asia

Family: Betulaceae

Size: 30' - 40' tall, 20' - 30' wide

Form: Pyramidal to oval

Culture: Grows well in urban areas


Alternate, 2" - 4" long


Slender, hanging catkins, yellow-green, 1" - 2" long (male), leafy bracts, yellow green and 2" - 3" long (female)


< 1" nut


Smooth, greenish-gray