Saturday, June 03, 2023

Pic(k) of the Week: Hops? ... No!

Hops? ... No!

Convergent evolution?

The fruits of American hophornbeam trees closely resemble the seed cones of hop plants (which are used to flavor beer). But hophornbeams, despite a similarity in appearance (and name), are NOT hops...and, indeed, would not be particularly pleasant in a beer!

Seen in Sycamore Park, in Decatur, Georgia, USA. 13 May 2023.
Ostrya virginiana —commonly known as the American hophornbeam, eastern hophornbeam, hardhack (in New England), ironwood, and leverwood— is a species of Ostrya (deciduous trees belonging to the birch family Betulaceae) native to eastern North America.

Ostrya virginiana is a small deciduous understory tree growing to 59 feet tall (18 m) with a trunk 8-20 inches in diameter (20–50 cm). The flowers are catkins (spikes) produced in early spring, at the same time as the new leaves appear. In early summer, pollinated female flowers develop into small hop-resembling fruits, 1⁄8–3⁄16 inches long (3–5 mm), changing from greenish-white to dull brown as the fruit matures.

  • For comparison, see an actual hop cone: here.

  • Pic(k) of the Week: one in a weekly series of images posted on Saturdays, occasionally, but not always (even though this comes close!), with a good fermentable as the subject.
  • Photo 23 of 52, for year 2023. See a hi-res version on Flickr: here.
  • Commercial reproduction requires explicit permission, as per Creative Commons.

  • Camera: Olympus OM-D E-M10 II.
    • Lens: Meike MK 25mm f/1.8
    • Settings: 25 mm | 1/200 sec | ISO 400 | ƒ/5.6

  • For more from YFGF:

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