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Fagus grandifolia Ehrhart

Common names: American beech, beech, gray beech, red beech, white beech.
Synonyms: Fagus grandifolia Ehrhart ssp. heterophylla Campdera, Fagus grandifolia Ehrhart var. caroliniana (Loudon) Fernald & Rehder, Fagus grandifolia Ehrhart var. grandifolia.
Family: Fagaceae.

Brief description:
Beech leaves are alternate and unlobed--but perhaps their most distinctive feature is the straight veins, each ending in a point at the leaf edge and looking like it was drawn with a ruler. Related to the oaks, beeches have inconspicuous flowers and nut that are borne in spiny capsules. The bark is smooth and gray--and was often used for the carving of initials and other messages, but don't be a tree-graffiti artist! Leave the beautiful trunk for others to admire. From mid-summer to the following spring, the buds are also distinctive--long, narrow, and sharp pointed. The leaves turn a gold brown in the autumn, and tend to remain on the tree through the winter.

USDA Profile

Herbarium sheet images:
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Live specimen images:

 Branchlet with leaves  Individual leaf  Branchlet with buds  Close-up of bud 

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