HORNBEAM, Carpinus, a genus of the natural order eltindifertr; consisting of trees with compact, touch, hard wood; bark almost smooth and of a whitish gray color, deciduous leaves, a ad momecions fin w e rs. The male catkins are cylindrical and sessile, their flowers consist merely of a little scale-like bract and 12 to 24 stamens. The female flowers consist of a grennen, crowned with the 4- to 8-toothed border of the perianth, and with two thread-like stigmas, and art placed in loose .slender catkins, always two together, each at the base of a stalked bract, which is three-cleft or three-cornered, anti which, when the tree is in fruit, enlarges very much, becomes leafy, and covers the fully ripened nut on one side. The nut has a thick husk, and is south and striated. The CommoN llonNnEa`t betlilux), very frequent in the woods of many parts of Europe, is a beautiful. tree, attaining a height of 60 to 100 feet. It is seldom, indeed, now seen of such ilimensions in Britain; but it seems to have formed a prin cipal part of the ancient forests of some parts of the island. It has elongato-ovate,
acuminate, triple-serrate leaves. When in fruit, it has very large, deeply 3-par tite bracts. It thrives best in a moderately moist and shady situation. its root descends deep into the ground. The wood is white, very hard, uncommonly strong and tough, and therefore suitable for bearing heavy strains. It is much used by joiners, turners, and wheelwrights. It takes a very fine polish, and, when well stained, might be mistaken for ebony. In the earth, or where exposed to the changes of the weather, it is of no great durability. It burns like a candle, and it is one of the best kinds of firewood; it affords an excellent charcoal, and the ashes yield nmch potash. 'lite young steals, by reason of the dense growth of their twigs, are very suitable for forming live fences and bowers; and as it bears clipping very well, the hornbeam was often employed to form those live-walls which were formerly so much the fashion in gardens.