This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol1", by Nathaniel Lord Britton, Addison Brown. Also available from Amazon: An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 Volume Set..
Trees similar to the Hornbeams, the primary veins of the leaves simple or forked, the aments expanding with or before the leaves. Staminate aments sessile at the ends of branchlets of the preceding season, their flowers as in Carpinus, solitary in the axil of each bract; filaments 2-cleft. Pistillate aments small, terminal, erect, the flowers 2 to each bract, subtended by a tubular, persistent bractlet which enlarges into a membranous, nerved, bladder-like sac in fruit. Style slender; stigmas 2, subulate. Nut ovoid-oblong, compressed, smooth, sessile. Mature pistillate ament hop-like. [The ancient name.]
Six species, the following, 2 in the southwest, 1 in Europe and Asia, 1 in Mexico, 1 Japanese. Type species: Ostrya Ostrya (L.) MacM.
A tree, with a maximum height of about 500, trunk diameter of 2°, twigs of the season pubescent. Leaves ovate or oblong-ovate, the apex acuminate, the base rounded or inequilateral, sharply and doubly serrate, sparingly pubescent and green above, pubescent or tomentose beneath, 2 1/2-4 long, 1'-l 1/2 wide; petioles rarely more than 2" long; staminate aments 1 1/2'-3' long, their bracts triangular-ovate, acuminate; anther-sacs villous at the summit; bractlet of each fertile flower forming a sac 6"-8" long and 4"-$" in diameter in fruit, acute, cuspidate, pubescent, villous near and at the base with bristly hairs, parellel-veined and finely reticulated; nut 2 1/2" long, compressed, shining; ripe fertile aments erect or spreading, 1 1/2'-2 1/2' long, resembling hops.
In dry woods, Cape Breton Island to Manitoba, Nebraska, Florida and Texas. Wood similar to that of the Hornbeam, but heavier; weight per cubic foot 51 lbs. Bark scaly. April-May. Fruit ripe July-Aug. Hard-hack. Indian-cedar or black-hazel. Lever- or deer-wood.