The Tasmanian Arboretum

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northern beech

The botanical name of northern beeches, Fagus, is derived from the Greek word for food, phagus, from the edible seed, beech nuts.

The beech has a species in Europe, sylvatica, one in North America, grandifolia, another in Eastern Europe and Asia Minor, orientalis, and four species in Asia including engleriana in central China and lucida in western China, plus two in the relatively small area of Japan, japonica and crenata.

Several dozen ornamental cultivars have been selected from the European species.

The beech tree remains a popular source of timber from the temperate broadleaf forests of the lower altitudes of Europe and North America. Specimens can be seen growing in the Arboretum's collections.

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The leaves shown below are samples of northern beeches from Asia, Europe and the USA and show the similarity between the leaves and fruits.


The map shows the global distribution of Beech species.


Oriental Beech
Fagus orientalis


Common Beech
Fagus sylvatica


American Beech
Fagus grandifolia