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FAGUS sylvatica var. heterophylla

Image of Fagus sylvatica var. heterophylla

Jesse Saylor

Family

Fagaceae

Botanical Name

FAGUS sylvatica var. heterophylla

Plant Common Name

European Beech

General Description

Cherished for its smooth gray bark, elegant deciduous foliage, stately habit, and adaptability, European beech has long been a garden favorite on its native continent and elsewhere. Distinguished by its cut or lobed leaves, variety heterophylla has given rise to several well-known cultivars, including the lacy-leaved 'Asplenifolia'. Glistening golden-green in spring, the leaves mature to dark green in summer. In autumn they turn shades of yellow, orange and bronze. Inconspicuous flowers in spring are followed by bristly capsules that ripen to tan in late summer and fall. They contain one to three edible nuts that are prized by wildlife. Raw nuts are not edible to humans. These trees grows relatively slowly into medium to large, rounded, low-branched specimens.

Tough and reliable, European beech performs best in moist, well-drained, acidic to alkaline soil in full sun. Established trees tolerate some drought. With their majestic habit and textured foliage, these trees make striking specimens for park-like settings or large residential landscapes. They are beautiful in combination with coarser-leaved plants such as magnolias. They also work well for bonsai or hedging.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    8 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    5 - 9

  • 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

    40'-90' / 12.2m - 27.4m

  • Width

    35'-90' / 10.7m - 27.4m

  • Bloom Time

    Early Spring, Spring

  • Native To

    Europe

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam

  • Growth Rate

    Slow

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Oval/Rounded

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Insignificant

  • Flower Color

    Yellow Green

  • Fruit Color

    Green, Tan, Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Light Green, Lime 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, Hedges, Shade Trees, Topiary / Bonsai / Espalier

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Birds

  • Self-Sowing

    No