Plant Guide > Trees > Beeches



Genus FAGUS, Linn.

Trees valuable for their timber and nuts, and also for shade and ornamental planting. Leaves simple, alternate, feather veined, deciduous. Flowers monoecious, small, crowded into spikes or heads. Fruit a pair of triangular nuts in a 4-valved bur.

The great family of the cup bearers includes the beeches, chestnuts and oaks-trees of profound importance to the human race. They are the mast trees, whose fruit has fed man and beast from the days when they both depended upon Nature's bounty. Times have changed, and men have less primitive appetites, but their need of these trees is not diminished, but rather broadened with the advance of civilisation. Mast of oak, beech and chestnut remain the chief reliance of many wild animals.

There are in all five species of beech, three of which are Asiatic. America has one species and Europe one. Two are native to China and Japan. The so-called beeches of the Southern Hemisphere form a genus, Nothofagus, of twelve species. They differ in habit and in flowers from Fagus, and the Ieaves, often evergreen, are very small. Nevertheless, the two genera are closely related.

Beech Tree
European Beech Tree