|Oriental Beech – Fagus orientalis|
Family Fagaceae: Oaks & Beeches
This ancient tree is native to vast swaths of Asia Minor.
Oriental beech in Northern Illinois on May 4th, well-leafed out long before most other trees or shrubs
Oriental beech is a deciduous tree growing to 65 feet native to Northern Turkey, where it is one of the dominant tree species. Since the population of F. orientalis in this region regenerate by sprouts, they have been genetically identical for centuries, perhaps millennia .
The leaves are alternate, simple, and entire or with a slightly crenate margin, 7-15 cm long and 5-9 cm broad, with 7-13 veins on each side of the leaf (6-7 veins in F. sylvatica). The buds are long and slender, 15-30 mm long and 2-3 mm thick, but thicker (to 4-5 mm) where the buds include flower buds.
Flowers appear as catkins shortly after the leaves emerge in springtime. Seeds are small triangular nuts 15-20 mm long and 7-10 mm wide at the base; there are two nuts in each cupule, maturing in the autumn 5-6 months after pollination. The cupule differs from that of European Beech in having flattened, slightly leaf-like appendages at the base .