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Common Beech

Fagus sylvatica

Plant Data

Order:
Fagales
Family:
Fagaceae (Beech)
Flowering Months:
JAN  FEB  MAR  APR  MAY  JUN  JUL  AUG  SEP  OCT  NOV  DEC
Flowers:
Male and female yellowish-green catkins grow together on the same tree. Male catkins dangle loosely from stalks at the end of twigs. Female catkins exist in pairs and are surrounded by a cup, later turning into beech nuts in autumn. Flowers only appear on mature trees.
Fruit:
The nuts are called 'beech mast' and are brown 3-sided nuts with a tough bristly husk on the outside.
Leaves:
Deciduous. Pointed leaf buds. Oval, up to 9cm long and pale green and silky when young, turning dark green later in the year. Hairless. Leaves turn yellow or orange in autumn.
Maximum Size:
40 meters tall.
Foraging Notes:
The leaves are edible raw and taste lemony but are best eaten early in spring before they harden and become less palatable. The nuts can be split open and eaten.
Never consume a wild plant unless you are 100% certain that it is safe to eat and you know that you have identified it correctly.
Other Names:
European Beech.
Habitats:
Gardens, parkland, towns, woodland.