Name: Fagus grandifolia aka American beech
Type of Plant: A large tree that’s native to Eastern North America, with shiny dark green leaves in summer and beautiful yellow/orange/rust fall color.
Why I Love This Plant: At this time of year this tree catches my eye because it is coloring when many other trees have already dropped their leaves. I love how this tree populates our woodlands on Cape Cod, often suckering from shallow roots and forming thickets or groups of plants. And I appreciate how the tree’s nuts sustain a number of animals and how the plant is host to a number of moths and butterfly caterpillars.
A Word to the Wise: There is a new disease that’s effecting this plant and it’s been spotted on Cape Cod. Called beech leaf disease, it causes striping on the foliage. It’s too early to know how much of a threat that this is to our beeches in the woodland, but it’s worth being aware of and taking precautions so that it doesn’t spread. Learn more about beech leaf disease by clicking here.