Southern beech is a term used to refer to beech species native to southern hemisphere countries including New Zealand, Australia, New Caledonia, New Guinea and countries in South America. These trees were once throught to belong to the European family Fagaceae, but have been classified in the southern beech family Nothofagaceae.
There are 5 species of beech tree in New Zealand:
- Fuscospora fusca (red beech)
- Fuscospora cliffortioides (mountain beech)
- Fuscospora solandri (black beech)
- Fuscospora truncata (hard beech)
- Lophozonia menziesii (silver beech)
All these beech trees are broadleaf and evergreen. The beech’s dry, nut-like seeds are spread by the wind. For more information about beech trees see the Beech forest area of this website.
For more information about beech trees see:
- Southern beech forest (Te Ara - Encyclopedia of NZ)
- Southern beeches by A.L. Poole. Wellington: Science Information Publishing Centre, DSIR, 1987.
- The ecology and biogeography of Nothofagus forests edited by Thomas Veblen. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1996
- The New Zealand beeches by John Wardle, Wellington: New Zealand Forest Service, 1984.
- Native beech forests (DOC website)
- Beech forest regeneration by John Dawson (From Forest Vines to Snow Tussocks)