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Fagus englerana Seemen

Modern name

Fagus engleriana Seemen ex Diels


F. sylvatica var. chinensis Franch.

A deciduous tree usually 20 to 50 (rarely 70) ft high, nearly always in the wild divided near the base into many stems; young shoots glabrous. Leaves ovate to oval, usually widest below the middle, rounded or broadly wedge-shaped at the base, pointed, the margins wavy, 2 to 4 in. long, 1 to 2 in. wide, rather glaucous when quite young, at first silky-hairy beneath, otherwise glabrous, veins in ten to fourteen pairs; stalk slender, 14 to 12 in. long. Husks 12 to 58 in. long, covered with downy, often spathulate bracts; the stalk slender, glabrous, 112 to 212 in. long. Nuts about as long as the husk.

Native of Central China; discovered by Henry, introduced by Wilson to the Arnold Arboretum in 1907 and thence to Kew in 1911 (No. 703). It is quite hardy and grows satisfactorily, if not very quickly, in this country. Its distinctive characters are the long slender stalk of the husk, combined with the glabrous leaves (except when young). F. japonica, its nearest ally, is well distinguished by the nuts being twice as long as the husk and consequently exposed. Wilson observed of F. englerana that, as seen in China, its many stems diverge somewhat and never attain to any great thickness.

In cultivation F. englerana makes a handsome small specimen which in habit agrees well with the wild trees, but it is far from common. The following have been recorded: Westonbirt, Glos., in Silkwood, pl. 1928 43 × 212 ft (1967); Borde Hill, Sussex, in Lulling’s Ghyll, 38 × 312 ft (1967); Benenden Grange, Kent, a fine specimen, 32 × 334 ft at 3 ft (1967); Mount Usher, Co. Wicklow, Eire, 35 × 234 ft (1966); Birr Castle, Co. Offaly, Eire,pl. 1927, 22 × 134 ft (1966).

From the Supplement (Vol. V)

specimens: Kew, 23 × 134 ft (1984); Benenden Grange, Kent, 35 × 434 ft at 2 ft (1981); Petworth House, Sussex, 40 × 212 ft (1983); Borde Hill, Sussex, in Lullings Ghyll, 39 × 414 ft (1977); Westonbirt, Glos., 62 × 5 ft (1983); Innes House, Moray, 31 × 314 ft at 1 ft (1980); Birr Castle, Co. Offaly, Eire, pl. 1927, 42 × 214 ft (1985).



Other species in the genus