Nothofagus moorei

(Nothofagus moorei)



Nothofagus moorei, commonly known as Antarctic beech, is an important Gondwana relict of the rainforests of the southern hemisphere. It occurs in wet, fire-free areas at high altitude in eastern Australia. These trees typically grow to 25 m (80 ft) tall and have large trunks to 1 m in diameter with scaly, dark brown bark. Maximum height is about 50 m. The leaves are simple and alternate, growing six centimeters long. The leaf color is dark green, with new growth brilliant red, or orange in spring. The tree is deciduous in its native environment, but only partially deciduous in warmer areas, dropping half its leaves in autumn. The leaves are triangular to oblong with fine teeth along the crenate edges. The plants have separate male and female flowers that occur on the same tree. The flowers are small and form inconspicuous clusters near the leaves towards the end of the branches. The fruit, produced from December to February, is a small woody structure of four prickly valves. Each fruit contains three small winged nuts. Complicated root structures are frequently exhibited. These roots would once have been soil-covered, but have been exposed over the ages by erosion, and covered in moss and lichen. Many of the trees have multiple trunks emanating from a crown, formed by this root structure. Fires are detrimental to the survival of the Antarctic Beech which, unlike many other Australian plants, is slow to recover from fire.

Taxonomic tree:

Kingdom: Plantae
Class: Magnoliopsida
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