Carex vulpinoidea #1 (Fox Sedge)August 25, 2020
Carya ovata #5 (Shagbark Hickory)August 25, 2020
Carpinus caroliniana #1 (Musclewood / American Hornbeam)
Musclewood, also known as American Hornbeam, is a slow-growing, native understory tree which naturally grows in the shade of floodplain tree species. The growth rate is an average of 8-10′ over 10 years, but it is capable of growing faster with consistent moisture and fertile soil. The name Musclewood describes the rippling, muscular appearance of the smooth mature bark, and also the dense strength of the quality of the wood which has been used on a small scale to make durable tool handles. The spring flowers are inconspicuous wind-pollinated catkins with the female catkins later turning into interesting, drooping nutlets enclosed by papery bracts. These nuts are consumed by wildlife including many bird species that facilitate seed dispersal, along with the wind. The foliage is used by at least 68 species* of Lepidoptera including the Striped Hairstreak, Red-Spotted Purple and the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail.
Musclewood trees are fairly adaptable and easy to grow, unbothered by pest and disease issues, and very low-maintenance. They are not messy trees, and make excellent specimen trees for shady areas of the landscape. Their fall color can be spectacular in sunnier conditions, with brilliant yellow, orange, red and purple. They take pruning and shaping well, and even shearing, for hedges and more formal plantings.
Native Trees, Shrubs, & Vines by William Cullina
Manual of Woody Landscape Plants by Michael A. Dirr
*Midwestern Native Shrubs and Trees by Charlotte Adelman & Bernard L. Schwartz
Missouri Botanical Garden
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
The Morton Arboretum-Black Walnut Tolerance