|Species:||Carpinus betulus L.|
|Italian common noun:||European hornbeam|
Origin: Europe, Minor Asia.
Botanical characteristics: It is a medium-sized deciduous tree with branches from the base. It has a pyramidal growth habit or a rounded crown when it gets pruned as a tree. It has a sinuous trunk with vertical grooves and a smooth grey bark. It has got elliptical leaves with acute tip, doubly serrated margins and very impressed veins. They are golden-yellow in autumn. The infructescenses consist of a nutlet (Nucula) subtended by a green three-lobed leaf-like bract. Dried leaves and infructescenses persist on the plant all winter.
Agronomic and environmental characteristics: Once this plant formed the Po valley, together with oak, this vegetal association was called Quercus- Carpinetum. It can be found on fresh, rich and well-drained soils in the woodlands of the Po valley, and most rarely in the hills. It adapts to calcareous and clay soils, too.
Use: It is ideal for formal hedges since it withstands drastic and repeated pruning. It can be used as a single plant, in groups, for natural or pruned hedges and windbreaks. It can also be grown as small tree. It is suitable for avenues and car parks. It is used to cover slopes and for reforestation. In the Garden of the Venetian Villa the “Carpinata” was an avenue with Carpinus all along, which could have been planted at different distances and it could have been natural shaped or pruned to form a green tunnel.
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