Beech is the northern hemisphere genus of Fagus.
Beech may also refer to:
Beech (Fagus) is a genus of deciduous trees in the family Fagaceae, native to temperate Europe, Asia and North America. Recent classification systems of the genus recognize ten to thirteen species in two distinct subgenera, Engleriana and Fagus. The Engleriana subgenus is found only in East Asia, and is notably distinct from the Fagus subgenus in that these beeches are low-branching trees, often made up of several major trunks with yellowish bark. Further differentiating characteristics include the whitish bloom on the underside of the leaves, the visible tertiary leaf veins, and a long, smooth cupule-peduncle. Fagus japonica, Fagus engleriana, and the species F. okamotoi, proposed by the botanist Chung-Fu Shen in 1992, comprise this subgenus. The better known Fagus subgenus beeches are high-branching with tall, stout trunks and smooth silver-grey bark. This group includes Fagus sylvatica, Fagus grandifolia, Fagus crenata, Fagus lucida, Fagus longipetiolata, and Fagus hayatae. The classification of the European beech, Fagus sylvatica is complex, with a variety of different names proposed for different species and subspecies within this region (for example Fagus taurica, Fagus orientalis, and Fagus moesica). Research suggests that beeches in Eurasia differentiated fairly late in evolutionary history, during the Miocene. The populations in this area represent a range of often overlapping morphotypes, though genetic analysis does not clearly support separate species.
Within its family, the Fagaceae, recent research has suggested that Fagus is the evolutionarily most basal group. The southern beeches ( Nothofagus genus) previously thought closely related to beeches, are now treated as members of a separate family, Nothofagaceae. They are found in Australia, New Zealand, New Guinea, New Caledonia, Argentina and Chile (principally Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego).
The European beech (Fagus sylvatica) is the most commonly cultivated, although there are few important differences between species aside from detail elements such as leaf shape. The leaves of beech trees are entire or sparsely toothed, from 5–15 cm long and 4–10 cm broad. Beeches are monoecious, bearing both male and female flowers on the same plant. The small flowers are unisexual, the female flowers borne in pairs, the male flowers wind-pollinating catkins. They are produced in spring shortly after the new leaves appear. The bark is smooth and light grey. The fruit is a small, sharply three–angled nut 10–15 mm long, borne singly or in pairs in soft-spined husks 1.5–2.5 cm long, known as cupules. The husk can have a variety of spine- to scale-like appendages, the character of which is, in addition to leaf shape, one of the primary ways beeches are differentiated. The nuts are edible, though bitter (though not nearly as bitter as acorns) with a high tannin content, and are called beechnuts or beechmast.
The name of the tree (Latin fagus, whence the species name; cognate with English "beech") is of Indo-European origin, and played an important role in early debates on the geographical origins of the Indo-European people. Greek φηγός is from the same root, but the word was transferred to the oak tree (e.g. Iliad 16.767) as a result of the absence of beech trees in Greece.
Beech is a surname and may refer to:
- Albert Beech (1912–1985), English footballer
- Charlie Beech (born 1987), English rugby union player
- Chris Beech (born 1974), English former footballer
- Chris Beech (footballer, born 1975), English former footballer
- David Beech (born 1954), curator of the British Library's philatelic collection
- Elaine Beech (born 1960), American politician
- Graham Beech (died 1993), English rower
- Hannah Beech, journalist for Time magazine
- Jim Beech, English footballer between 1894 and 1902
- Kenny Beech (born 1958), English former footballer
- Kris Beech (born 1981), Canadian ice hockey player in Sweden
- Mark Beech (writer), English writer and rock critic
- Matt Beech (born 1972), American former Major League Baseball pitcher
- Olive Ann Beech (1904–1993), U.S. aviation pioneer and businesswoman, wife of Walter Beech
- Sandra Beech (born c. 1942), Canadian children's musician
- Terry Beech (born 1980 or 1981), Canadian politician
- Walter Beech (1891–1950), American pioneer aviator
- William George Beech (1898–1971), Canadian politician
Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
The Collaborative International Dictionary
Beech \Beech\, n.; pl. Beeches. [OE. beche, AS. b?ce; akin to D. beuk, OHG. buocha, G. buche, Icel. beyki, Dan. b["o]g, Sw. bok, Russ. buk, L. fagus, Gr. ? oak, ? to eat, Skr. bhaksh; the tree being named originally from the esculent fruit. See Book, and cf. 7th Buck, Buckwheat.] (Bot.) A tree of the genus Fagus.
Note: It grows to a large size, having a smooth bark and thick foliage, and bears an edible triangular nut, of which swine are fond. The Fagus sylvatica is the European species, and the Fagus ferruginea that of America.
Beech drops (Bot.), a parasitic plant which grows on the roots of beeches ( Epiphegus Americana).
Beech marten (Zo["o]l.), the stone marten of Europe ( Mustela foina).
Beech mast, the nuts of the beech, esp. as they lie under the trees, in autumn.
Beech oil, oil expressed from the mast or nuts of the beech tree.
Cooper beech, a variety of the European beech with copper-colored, shining leaves.
n. any of several large deciduous trees with rounded spreading crowns and smooth gray bark and small sweet edible triangular nuts enclosed in burs; north temperate regions [syn: beech tree]
wood of any of various beech trees; used for flooring and containers and plywood and tool handles [syn: beechwood]
Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary
Old English bece "beech," from Proto-Germanic *bokjon (cognates: Old Norse bok, Dutch beuk, Flemish boek, Old High German buohha, German Buche, Middle Dutch boeke "beech"), from PIE root *bhagos "beech tree" (cognate with Greek phegos "oak," Latin fagus "beech;" see fagus).\n
\nFormerly with adjectival form beechen. Also see book (n.).
n. A tree of the genus ''Fagus'' having a smooth, light grey trunk, oval, pointed leaves and many branches.
Usage examples of "beech".
Lucas stood with Amaryllis at the far end of the museum hall and tried to keep his attention on Miranda Locking and Merrick Beech.
Yet in her time-out world, the approach to the tree that was to kill her felt so slow that she could make out clearly its bruised and scarred trunk and knew with a burst of joy that here was the very same beech beneath which the bazouki boy had died.
MARTINSBURG, West Virginia---some thirty miles northwest of Washington Route Center---a private, four-place Beech Bonanza, at seven thousand feet, was leaving Airway V166 and entering Airway V44.
The little Beech Bonanza, identifiable visually by its butterfly tail, was cruising at 175 mph, its destination Baltimore.
Beech, the agent, says a man called Gulliver, acting for someone else, buys Cleaver Hall.
Lucas broke off as Miranda Locking abruptly turned away from Merrick Beech and went down a darkened hall.
The King spoke of their having lived for a long time in Neldarlod, which means Place of the Beech Trees, so they are but recently come to Edder Forest.
They began to be shot at near Findon Beeches, but at first only with a rook rifle.
The heavy brown barks of oak, beech, walnut, apple, and maple were intermixed with supple, straight, thin-barked willow, birch, hornbeam, aspen, and the high brush of alder and hazelnut.
Primarily oak and beech with hornbeam and maple also prominent, the leaves were already changing into a colorful tapestry of reds and yellows accented by the deep evergreen of spruce at the higher edge.
It smelled so sweet and soft and fresh under that sky, pied of blue, and of white and light-grey swift-moving clouds--not half the wind down here that there was up there, just enough to be carrying off the beech and oak leaves, loosened by frost two days before.
The garden was delightful, a glorious mixture of fruit trees, shrubs, a mown lawn there, the glimpse of a vegetable patch behind a screen of beech, and flower beds round and about, all of them stuffed with spring flowers in full bloom.
Through the grayness Gees could see the narrow line of beech and elm trees which the worthies of Odder designated a wood, an unkempt shrubbery running parallel with the graveled drive to the gateway, with thick undergrowth of brushwood and saplings.
Kee, Robert Blum, Thomas Holliday, Rich Legg, Ryan Casey, Frederick Beecher, Craig Meyer, Patrick Messier, Robin Hudson, Dan Kuykendall, The Murphy Loft, Paul Grimard, Jeff McFarland, Patricia Drake, Steven Kolstad, Mike Brady, Brian Pipa, Michael Tichon, James Daniels, Jonathan Wallington, Nick Sagar, Sebastian Dittmann, Joe Jennings, Pekka Oikarainen, Christopher Booth, M.
The dogwoods on Greenfield Hill below those enormous copper beeches, the weeping cherries, the prunus, the apple blossom yes, it is deathless!