Deciduous beech on Mount Field. May 6.


Deciduous beech (Nothofagus gunnii), or fagus as it is best-known, a humble tree, usually growing to 2 metres or less. You find it in places most would describe as inhospitable. And one of its other names – tanglefoot – is ruefully confirmed by bushwalkers caught up in its twisted, ground-hugging branches. Yet this small Tasmanian tree can claim something few other Australian plants can. It is Australia’s only cold climate winter-deciduous tree, and you will find it nowhere else in the world except Tasmania.

And its autumn display is superb. Fagus turns a spectacular range of autumn colours, from rust red through to brilliant gold, during late April and May.

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