American Beech
Fagus grandifolia
Family Fagaceae

* Leaves elliptic or egg-shaped, coarse-toothed, 1-5".
* Bark gray and smooth, twigs hairless.
* Buds shiny brown, long, slender, sharply pointed, many-scaled.
* Fruits small, edible, triangular nuts enclosed in a husk that is covered with soft spines.
* Height: 60-80'.

Natural History:
* Flowers April - May.
* Fruits September - October.
* Habitat: Rich, mature soils.
* Range: Eastern half of the United States, southeastern Canada.
* Native.

* Legends, both fanciful and true, have been inscribed in the beech's smooth bark. American adventurer Daniel Boone carved in a tree in Tennessee:
"D. Boone
Cilled A Bar
On Tree
In Year 1760."

* "I frequently tramped eight or ten miles though the deepest snow to keep an appointment with a beech-tree."
-Henry David Thoreau, 1817-1862

* Animals that feed on beech nuts include pheasant, ruffed grouse, black bear, red and gray fox, cottontail rabbit, flying squirrel, porcupine, and opossum.


Created by: Allaire Diamond and Jiasuey Hsu
Maintained by: Nick Rodenhouse
Created: July 31, 1998
Last Modified: November 21, 2008