European beech (Fagus sylvatica), European beech forest

The beech (Fagus ) are the only genus in the subfamily of Fagoideae within the beech family ( Fagaceae ). The ten species have a wide distribution in the northern temperate zone in North America and Eurasia.

  • 3.1 Demarcation of similarly-named genera
  • 4.1 timber use
  • 4.2 ornamental plant
  • 5.1 Literature
  • 5.2 Notes and references



Book species are deciduous trees that reach heights of growth of up to 40 meters. Its bark is gray and smooth and rarely shows the age a slight crust formation, therefore it belongs to the Peridermbäumen. The thin and bent back and forth branches have brown bark. The buds are 1 to 3 inches long. They are long spindle-shaped, often straddling, brown in color, covered with numerous bud scales and silvery hairy.

The leaves are alternate, spirally on upright branches to projecting they are arranged more or less double spaced. The leaf blade is glossy green, entire, slightly sinuate dentate, sinuate wavy or finely toothed. The stipules are narrow and obsolete.

Inflorescences and flowers

Book species are monoecious getrenntgeschlechtig ( monoecious ). The flowers are on young twigs and appear simultaneously with the leaves. The male flowers are in dense, long -stalked, drooping clusters. The male flower has a single four-to siebenspaltige perianth and stamens eight to sixteen. The pollen are more or less spherical, about 20 to 45 microns in size and show three to pole extending from pole pores wrinkles. The female flowers are in twos or threes in upright inflorescences, they form a dichasium. The female single flower has a hairy, four-to six-column perianth and a dreikammerigen ovary on the three sitting scars.


As fruits triangular, 1 to 1.5 inches long, shiny auburn Nuts, beechnuts, are formed. They sit in pairs, rarely in threes, in a very woody, soft spines on the outside vierklappigen fruit cup ( cupula ). The beech nuts ripen in autumn.

Chromosome number

The chromosome number is 2n = 24

Distribution and habitat requirements

The genus Fagus is common with eight to eleven species in the northern temperate zone of Europe, America and Asia. The greatest diversity of species is found in eastern Asia. The beech species prefer a mild winter and cool summer, humid oceanic climate. Areas with harsh winters and late frosts and strong drought be avoided. In its southern distribution areas, the book is limited to the mountainous areas.

Fossil Book since the Tertiary detected. Ago 10 million years ago featuring their increased volume, such as in sediments of the Lower Rhine Basin, a slow cooling in areas hitherto subtropical climate.


The first publication of the genus name Fagus took place in 1753 in Species Plantarum, 2, pp. 997-998. Type species is Fagus sylvatica L.

Fagus is the only genus in the subfamily Fagoideae within the Fagaceae family.

A distinction is made about ten book species ( Fagus ), the assignment of a taxon is discussed as a species or subspecies:

  • Fagus chienii W.C.Cheng
  • Kerb- beech ( Fagus crenata Blume)
  • Engler Beech (Fagus engleriana Seemen ex Diels )
  • American beech (Fagus grandifolia Ehrh. ) Fagus grandifolia Ehrh. subsp. grandifolia
  • Fagus grandifolia subsp. mexicana ( Martinez ) AEMurray ( Syn: Fagus mexicana Martínez )
  • Fagus sylvatica subsp. moesiaca ( K.Malý ) Szafer ( Syn: Fagus moesiaca K.Malý )
  • Fagus sylvatica L. subsp. sylvatica

Delineation of similarly-named genera

  • The genus of hornbeam or beech trees (Carpinus ) is similar to the book, at first glance, but belongs to the birch family ( Betulaceae ).
  • The genre of hop hornbeam ( Ostrya ), which is similar to hornbeam, belongs to the birch family ( Betulaceae ).
  • The genus appearances Book ( Nothofagus ), which also resembles the Book in appearance, is native exclusively in the Southern Hemisphere and belongs to the family of the apparent Fagaceae ( Nothofagaceae ).


Wood utilization

While some species such as beech or notch Japanese beech in forestry play a subordinate role, the domestic copper beech in Central Europe is a major supplier of timber. The beech wood in Germany, with a discount of approximately 7 million cubic meters a year (about 1/ 6 of the total felling volume in Germany ) one of the most important hardwoods as utility and industrial wood. Buchholz is also a first-class firewood because it burns long, bright, hot and calm; therefore, it is more expensive than most other burning woods.

Wood properties ( values ​​according to DIN 68364 ): modulus of elasticity 14,000 N / mm ², compression strength 60 N / mm ², tensile strength 135 N / mm ², bending strength 120 N / mm ², impact bending strength 100 kJ / m², Brinell hardness along 65, transverse 37-41 N / mm ²

Ornamental plant

Some varieties are used in parks, avenues and gardens as ornamental trees. In Japan, the notch - book is drawn as a bonsai.