A modern reference to temperate woody plants, including updated content from this site and much new material, can be found at Trees and Shrubs Online.

Nothofagus cunninghamii (Hook.) Oerst.

Modern name

Nothofagus cunninghamii (Hook.) Oerst.


Fagus cunninghamii Hook.

An evergreen tree attaining a large size in the wild; bark scaly, vertically furrowed on old trees; young shoots wiry, covered with short, dark down. Leaves glossy green, mostly triangular with a truncate base, some broadly ovate or rhombic, a few almost orbicular, 14 to 58 in. long, from half to quite as much wide, apex bluntly pointed, margins (except at the base of the blade) bluntly and irregularly single-toothed, both surfaces glabrous; petiole downy, very short. Male flowers solitary, with an irregularly six-lobed perianth. Husk of fruit dividing into four narrow valves about 14 in. long, bristled over with short decurved scales each of which is terminated by a globular gland which hardens as the fruit ripens; nutlets three, the centre one flattened.

Native of Tasmania, where it varies from an enormous timber tree to a shrub, according to rainfall and altitude; also of Victoria. It was in cultivation as early as 1860 but has never been common and is not reliably hardy. The recorded specimens are: Wakehurst Place, Sussex, 26 × 134 ft (1966); Caerhays, Cornwall, 46 × 314 ft (1971); Stonefield, Argyll, 53 × 334 ft (1969); Mount Usher, Co. Wicklow, Eire, 53 × 312 ft (1966); Rowallane, Northern Ireland, 45 × 434 ft (1966).

N. cunninghamii is closely allied to N. menziesii of New Zealand (q.v. for the marks of difference).

From the Supplement (Vol. V)

specimens: Wakehurst Place, Sussex, 36 × 214 ft (1978); Caerhays, Cornwall, 50 × 334 ft (1975); Stonefield, Argyll, 66 × 5 + 414 ft (1981); Rowallane, Co. Down, 55 × 512 ft (1976); Mount Usher, Co. Wicklow, Eire, 62 × 414 ft (1975).



Other species in the genus