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-- All habitats --
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.
The nuts are called 'beech mast' and are brown 3-sided nuts with a tough bristly husk on the outside.
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.
40 meters tall.
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.
Gardens, parkland, towns, woodland.