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FAGUS sylvatica f. purpurea

Image of Fagus sylvatica f. purpurea

JC Raulston Arboretum at NC State University

Family

Fagaceae

Botanical Name

FAGUS sylvatica f. purpurea

Plant Common Name

Copper Beech, European Beech, Purple Beech

General Description

The copper beech is a stately slow-growing deciduous tree native to central Europe eastward into the Caucus Mountains. Bronze-purple leaves emerge in the spring and become a lustrous muted purple by summer and then a rich coppery-bronze in autumn.

This magnificent specimen tree with its smooth silver-gray bark is an excellent choice for use in large open areas. Adapted to a wide variety of soil types, copper beech performs best in acidic to neutral soils. This stately tree casts heavy shade and its roots linger near the soil surface often resulting in weak turfgrass or other underplantings. Within this natural form purpurea are cultivars 'Riversii', 'Rohanii', 'Purpurea Pendula' and 'Spaethiana' with absolutely amazing foliage colors and shapes.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    9 - 4

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    4 - 7

  • Sunset Zone

    A3, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Tree

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    60'-90' / 18.3m - 27.4m

  • Width

    35'-90' / 10.7m - 27.4m

  • Bloom Time

    Early Spring, Spring

  • Native To

    Europe

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Slow

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Oval/Rounded

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Insignificant

  • Flower Color

    Yellow Green

  • Fruit Color

    Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Lime Green, Sea Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Gold, Copper, Bronze

  • Bark Color

    Gray, Silver, Slate Gray

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    Yes

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Feature Plant, Shade Trees

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Birds

  • Self-Sowing

    No