Carpinus L.


Ancient Latin name.

Deciduous trees. Branches low and dense, forming a shrubby habit. Bark smooth or scaly, grey. Buds long pointed. Leaves alternate, in 2 rows, margins toothed. Flowers unisexual, appearing in spring. Male catkins pendulous on short shoots, perianth parts absent, stamens 4-12, filaments split almost to base. Female flowers in terminal catkins, perianth with 6 teeth. Ovary 2-celled. Fruit a 1-seeded, ribbed nut, each nut having a large 3-lobed leafy bract.

C. japonica Blume has leaves with 20-25 vein pairs and fruit bracts that are relatively short-toothed. C. laxiflora (Siebold & Zucc.) Blume from China and Japan has fruit bracts less than 2 cm long with the central lobe toothed on one side only.

Seed; clones or rare plants can be grafted on to C. betulus.

Nuts in long clusters, each with 3-lobed leafy bracts.

About 41 species from north temperate regions, mostly E Asia and N America.

Rushforth (1986, 1987), Wright (1986), Furlow (1987).

Source: Spencer, R. (1997). Betulaceae. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 2. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 1. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Rosanae
order      Fagales
family       Betulaceae
Higher taxa
Subordinate taxa
species         Carpinus betulus L.
species         Carpinus caroliniana Walter