Nothofagus The New Zealand beech. It can be difficult to identify the 5 main species of New Zealand beech. Presented below are the identifying features for each species. The Beech has entire leaves with singly toothed margin Nothofagus fusca Red beech.
Red beech leaf
The trunk is often buttressed with thick dark furrowed bark.The leaves are broadly ovate and coarsely and sharply toothed with 1 or 2 domatia (small holes or pits at the midrib/vein junction) on the underside. From Waikato to Fiordland
Nothofagus truncata hard beech. Hard Beech
Hard Beech leaf
The leaves are coarsely and bluntly toothed. No domatia on under surface. Kaitaia to Marlborough The beech has entire leaves with a smooth or almost smooth margin Nothofagus solandri var. solandri Black Beech Black Beech leaf
Black beech grows throughout New Zealand in Lowland forest to an elevation of 600 metres but usually lower. The leaves are elliptic oblong to orbicular
Nothofagus solandri var. cliffortioides Mountain Beech Commonly in dryer forest at higher altitudes. The leaves are triangular to elliptic -ovate possibly assymetrical. (no photo yet)
The beech has leaves with a doubly toothed margin Nothofagus menzeseii Silver Beech Trunk often buttressedThe leaves are broadly ovate with domatia on under surface. Te Aroha to Bluff.
photos by Liz van der Laarse
If you wish to learn more about native plants I suggest one of these natural history books from fishpond