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April - Hornbeam (Carpinus betulus)

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Male catkins on Hornbeam. Hornbeam is a deciduous tree that can grow up to 30m (usually much less). It has a smooth grey bark but and the trunk is fluted or angled rather than round. The buds are shorter and less pointed than beech and pale brown. Twigs are downy and leaves are doubly toothed and pleated along the veins. The leaves are hairless above but have hairs on the veins below. Male catkins are 2-5cm long with oval greenish bracts. Female catkins are smaller enlarging later to form a oval ribbed nut. The hornbeam is native to south east England as far as Norfolk but has been widely introduced elsewhere. It is common on woods and hedgerows on sandy or loamy soils. Picture taken 11th April 2006 near Cople Bedfordshire.

Added:
11th Apr 2007 by Diane Earl

Subjects:
Biology, Science

Key Stages:
Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4, Key Stage 4+

Keywords:
plant tree catkin flower wildlife

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