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Fagus grandifolia

Fagus grandifolia Ehrh.

Fagus americana Sweet

Fagus ferruginea Aiton

Fagus grandifolia Ehrh. ssp. heterophylla Camp

Fagus grandifolia Ehrh. var. caroliniana (Louden) Fernald & Rehder

American Beech

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassRosidaeRoses, legumes, proteas, dogwoods, hydrangeas, mistletoes, euphorbias, grapes, many more
OrderFagalesBirch, she-oak, beech, walnut, bayberry, others
FamilyFagaceaeBeech familhy
GenusFagusLatin for “beech”
Speciesgrandifolia“With large leaves”

About plant names...

American beech is native to eastern North America. These slow-growing trees once covered most of North America, and can reach 400 years in age.

Identification: These trees are 66-115' (20-35 m) in height, with very smooth bark that is silver-gray in color. Most tree bark roughens with age, but beech tree bark remains smooth unless attacked by disease. Trees can reproduce by “root suckering,” wherein spreading roots produce new trees, so it isn’t unusual for a mature tree to be surrounded by younger trees. Leaves are 3" (7.6 cm) long, alternate, roughly oval with pointed ends, shiny and waxy, dark green and smooth, with toothed edges. They have strong parallel veins. In the fall, they turn yellow, then a pale straw color in winter—often some of the leaves remain during the winter. Flowers of both sexes appear on the same tree (making beeches monoecious); both flowers are greenish and rounded, on stalks up to 1" (2.5 cm). Fruits, called beechnuts, are small three-winged nuts produced within a bur-like outer covering.

Online References:

Fagus grandifolia on Carolina Nature, from Will Cook

Fagus grandifolia at the USDA Forest Service's Silvics of North America site

Fagus grandifolia on Wikipedia

Fagus grandifolia at the Virginia Tech Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation

Fagus grandifolia on Plants for a Future, a resource and information centre for edible and otherwise useful plants

Fagus grandifolia at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Fagus grandifolia on Blue Planet Biomes

Fagus grandifolia on eFloras

References:

Sibley, David Allen, The Sibley Guide to Trees, Alfred A. Knopf, 2009, p. 173

Fagus grandifolia (American Beech)

10/6/2011 · Shieling Forest, Peterborough, NH
≈ 12 × 8" (31 × 20 cm)

Fagus grandifolia (American Beech)

Young leaves. · 5/11/2016 · Pearl Hill State Park, Ashby, MA

Fagus grandifolia (American Beech)

12/22/2011 · Rte. 225, West Groton, MA ID is uncertain

Fagus grandifolia (American Beech)

10/6/2011 · Shieling Forest, Peterborough, NH
≈ 4½ × 3" (11 × 7.9 cm)

Fagus grandifolia (American Beech)

10/6/2011 · Shieling Forest, Peterborough, NH
≈ 11 × 7" (27 × 18 cm)

Fagus grandifolia (American Beech)

5/11/2016 · Pearl Hill State Park, Ashby, MA

Fagus grandifolia (American Beech)

4/24/2016 · Blue Trail, Willard Brook State Park, Ashby, NH

Fagus grandifolia (American Beech)

1/1/2012 · Big Tree Trail • Tudor Richards Natural History and Forest Trail, Hollis, NH
≈ 16 × 24" (41 × 62 cm)

Fagus grandifolia (American Beech)

9/28/2011 · Groton Place and Sabine Woods, Groton, MA
≈ 5 × 3½" (13 × 9.2 cm) ID is uncertain

Fagus grandifolia (American Beech)

9/28/2011 · Groton Place and Sabine Woods, Groton, MA
≈ 2½ × 2" (6.3 × 5.2 cm) ID is uncertain

Fagus grandifolia (American Beech)

8/9/2010 · Keyes Farm, Nashoba Conservation Trust, Elm St., Pepperell, MA
≈ 10 × 7" (25 × 16 cm)

Fagus grandifolia (American Beech)

4/1/2012 · Pearl Hill State Park, Yellow Trail, Townsend, MA
≈ 11 × 7" (27 × 18 cm)

Fagus grandifolia description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 5 Oct 2016.

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Fagus grandifolia (American Beech)

12/22/2011 · Rte. 225, West Groton, MA ID is uncertain

Fagus grandifolia (American Beech)

8/9/2010 · Keyes Farm, Nashoba Conservation Trust, Elm St., Pepperell, MA
≈ 22 × 15" (56 × 37 cm)

Fagus grandifolia (American Beech)

3/9/2012 · Groton Place and Sabine Woods, Groton, MA
≈ 31 × 46" (78 × 117 cm)

Fagus grandifolia (American Beech)

10/20/2013 · Barrett Park, Leominster, MA
≈ 21 × 31" (53 × 79 cm)

Fagus grandifolia (American Beech)

7/7/2017 · By Jacquelyn Boyt

Fagus grandifolia (American Beech)

Young leaves. · 5/11/2016 · Pearl Hill State Park, Ashby, MA

Fagus grandifolia (American Beech)

5/22/2010 · Garden in the Woods, Framingham, MA
≈ 11 × 7" (27 × 18 cm)

Fagus grandifolia (American Beech)

8/9/2010 · Keyes Farm, Nashoba Conservation Trust, Elm St., Pepperell, MA
≈ 6 × 4" (15 × 10 cm)

Fagus grandifolia (American Beech)

Does anyone know what causes the patterns on the bark? Young lichens? · 7/3/2012 · Yellow Trail from Pearl Hill State Park to Willard Brook State Park, Ashby, MA
≈ 6 × 9" (14 × 22 cm)

Fagus grandifolia (American Beech)

10/6/2011 · Shieling Forest, Peterborough, NH
≈ 9 × 14" (23 × 35 cm)

Fagus grandifolia (American Beech)

7/7/2017 · By Jacquelyn Boyt

Fagus grandifolia (American Beech)

12/22/2011 · Rte. 225, West Groton, MA ID is uncertain

Fagus grandifolia (American Beech)

2/18/2012 · Pearl Hill State Park, Townsend, MA
≈ 31 × 46" (78 × 117 cm)

Fagus grandifolia (American Beech)

5/18/2013 · Oak Hill, Littleton Conservation Land, Littleton, MA
≈ 31 × 47" (79 × 119 cm)

Range: Zones 3-9:

About this map...