(hornbeams; family Betulaceae)
A genus of monoecious, catkin-bearing trees, in which the male flowers are without bracteoles, and have about 10 forked stamens. The female flowers are borne in terminal, drooping catkins. The fruit is a small nut with a large, 3-lobed, bract-like, or leafy involucre on one side. Hornbeams are smooth-barked trees, with simple leaves, at one time much coppiced in Europe. The wood was also used formerly to make wooden gear wheels, on account of its toughness. There are about 35 species, occurring in the northern temperate zone, and in Central America.
Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry.