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American beech


Classification:

Family: Fagaceae, beech family
Genus species: Fagus grandifolia

Leaves:
Leaves are thin with a papery texture, elliptical in shape, long-pointed at tip. Each vein of the leaf ends in a tooth at the leaf's edge.

Bark:
Bark is light gray, smooth.

Flowers:
Male and female flowers are separate but on same tree (monoecious). Male flowers are small, yellow, arranged in a ball hanging on a slender stalk. Female flowers are small, bordered by hairy reddish scales.

Fruit:
Fruits are light brown prickly burs. Each bur contains four nuts. Nuts are sweet, edible.

Twigs:
Twigs are light gray, slender. Terminal bud is long, thin, pointed with many scales.

Roots:
Beech trees are clonal, spread asexually through roots.

More Information:

The genus name Fagus is from the Latin for "beech tree" and the species name grandifolia means "with large leaves."

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