This small native hardwood tree in eastern North America, is also called blue-beech, ironwood, and musclewood. The long male catkins and the shaggy female flower appear in the spring when the leaves open. The pale-yellow fruit clusters ripen from late spring to fall. The wood is used to make tool handles, longbows, walking sticks, canes, and golf clubs. It often has a fluted (hence the name musclewood) and crooked trunk. The American Hornbeam prefers shade and requires moderate soil fertility and moisture. It is a good choice for landscaping in shady yards.