Fagus grandifolia Ehrhart

Locations ofFagus grandifolia Ehrhart in Virginia

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Botanical Name
Fagus grandifolia Ehrhart
Common Name
American Beech
Fagus grandifolia Ehrh. var. caroliniana (Loud.) Fern. & Rehd.
Flora of Virginia Name/Status
Fagus grandifolia Ehrh.
Var. grandifolia and var. caroliniana (Loud.) Fern. & Rehd. are attributed to Virginia by some authorities, but are not formally recognized or mapped here because the characters used to separate them intergrade extensively. Geographically, var. caroliniana is alleged to be the characteristic beech of the Coastal Plain, Piedmont, and lower mountain areas, with var. grandifolia occuring in the higher-elevation mountain areas.
Mesic to dry-mesic upland forests, very well-drained floodplain terraces, and bluffs; most common on well-drained, acidic, nutrient-poor soils but found in a variety of soils. In eastern Virginia it is most often a canopy tree in deep soils of ravines and lower slopes, but, following decades of fire exclusion, it is now abundantly established in the understory of dry-mesic and even dry oak forests; in the mountains, it is most common in northern hardwood forests. Common in the Coastal Plain and Piedmont; infrequent at lower elevations of the mountains, where absent from large areas of apparently unsuitable soils on shale, limestone, dolostone, and metabasalt; common at high elevations of the Balsam Mountains (Southern Blue Ridge), Allegheny Mountain in Highland County (Appalachian Plateaus), Beartown on Clinch Mountain, Tazewell Co. (Ridge and Valley), and occasionally in other high-elevation sites.
Native Status

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