American Beech

Arbor walk #48

This tree has dark green leaves which turn bronze in the fall. Its flowers are yellowish-green, and the female flowers yield edible beechnuts which ripen in the fall. It is native to Missouri and mostly found in the Bootheel area of the state.

Name American Beech
Latin Name Fagus grandifolia
Type Native
Diameter 3″ caliper
Color of Leaf Dark green turn to bronze
Shape of Leaf 2-5″ ovate leaves with toothed edges
Color of Flower Yellow-green
Shape of Flower Inconspicuous
Fruit Characteristics Edible beechnuts, 3 sided
Bark Characteristics Smooth and silvery gray
Foliage Type Deciduous

The American Beech can easily be recognized by its distinctive long, pointy buds. This tree was actually originally recognized by the colonists, as it closely resembles the European Beech. Both bear edible beechnuts, mostly eaten by wildlife. Interestingly, the bark of the American Beech stays smooth with age unlike most trees, making it popular for carving.

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