Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Fagales
Family: Nothofagaceae
Genus: Nothofagus

See text

Shoots, leaves, and cupules of N. obliqua

Nothofagus, also known as the southern beeches, is a genus of 35 species of trees and shrubs native to the temperate oceanic to tropical Southern Hemisphere in southern South America (Chile, Argentina) and Australasia (east & southeast Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand, New Guinea and New Caledonia). Fossils have recently been found in Antarctica.[1]

In the past they were included in the family Fagaceae, but genetic tests by the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group revealed them to be genetically distinct, and they are now included in a family their own, the Nothofagaceae.

The leaves are toothed or entire, evergreen or deciduous. The fruit is a small, flattened or triangular nut, borne in cupules containing 2-7 nuts.

Nothofagus species are used as food plants by the larva of hepialid moths of the genus Aenetus including A. eximia and A. virescens.

Many individuals are extremely old, and at one time it was believed that some populations could not reproduce in present-day conditions at the location where they were growing, except by suckering (clonal reproduction), being remnant forest from a cooler time. It has since been shown that sexual reproduction may occur [1], but distribution in cool, isolated high-altitude environments at temperate and tropical latitudes is consistent with the theory that the species was more prolific in a cooler age.[2]


The genus is classified in the following sections:[3]

Sect. Brassospora (type Nothofagus brassi)
  • Nothofagus aequilateralis (New Caledonia)
  • Nothofagus balansae (New Caledonia)
  • Nothofagus baumanniae (New Caledonia)
  • Nothofagus brassii (New Guinea)
  • Nothofagus carrii (New Guinea)
  • Nothofagus codonandra (New Caledonia)
  • Nothofagus crenata (New Guinea)
  • Nothofagus discoidea (New Caledonia)
  • Nothofagus flaviramea (New Guinea)
  • Nothofagus grandis (New Guinea)
  • Nothofagus nuda (New Guinea)
  • Nothofagus perryi (New Guinea)
  • Nothofagus pseudoresinosa (New Guinea)
  • Nothofagus pullei (New Guinea)
  • Nothofagus resinosa (New Guinea)
  • Nothofagus rubra (New Guinea)
  • Nothofagus starkenborghii (New Guinea)
  • Nothofagus stylosa (New Guinea)
  • Nothofagus womersleyi (New Guinea)
Sect. Fuscospora (type Nothofagus fusca)
An adult Rauli Beech (N. alpina)
Sect. Lophozonia (type Nothofagus menziesii)
Sect. Nothofagus (type Nothofagus antarctica)


The pattern of distribution around the southern Pacific rim suggests that the dissemination of the genus dates to the time when Antarctica, Australia and South America were connected, a common land-mass or supercontinent referred to as Gondwana.[4]

In South America the northern genus limit can be construed as La Campana National Park and the Vizcachas Mountains in the central part of Chile.[5]


  1. ^ H.M. Li and Z.K. Zhou (2007) Fossil nothofagaceous leaves from the Eocene of western Antarctica and their bearing on the origin, dispersal and systematics of Nothofagus. Science in China. 50(10): 1525-1535.
  2. ^ J. W. Dawson (1966) Observations on Nothofagus in New Caledonia, Tuatara: Volume 14, Issue 1, April 1966
  3. ^ Nothofagus website (in French)
  4. ^ Native Forest Network (2003) Gondwana Forest Sanctuary
  5. ^ C. Michael Hogan (2008) Chilean Wine Palm: Jubaea chilensis,, ed. Nicklas Stromberg

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Nothofagus — Nothofagus …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Nothofagus — prop. n. A genus of beeches of temperate southern hemisphere except Africa; the southern beech. Syn: genus {Nothofagus}. [WordNet 1.5] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • nothofagus — ● nothofagus nom masculin (grec nothos, bâtard, et latin fagus, hêtre) Arbre ou arbrisseau voisin du hêtre, originaire de l hémisphère Sud. (Souvent planté comme arbre d ornement dans les parcs, il est aussi utilisé quelquefois comme essence de… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Nothofagus —   [zu lateinisch nothus »unecht«, eigentlich »unehelich«], die Pflanzengattung Scheinbuche …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Nothofagus — Scheinbuchen Pellin Scheinbuche (Nothofagus obliqua), Habitus. Systematik Abteilung …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Nothofagus — Nothofagus …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Nothofagus — Especies arboreas del hemisferio sur, preferentemente de Argentina, Australia, Chile, Nueva Caledonia, Nueva Guinea y Nueva Zelandia de la subclase de las Hamamélidas, orden de los Fagales, subfamilia fagoideae. Emparentada con Robles y Castaños… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Nothofagus — noun beeches of temperate southern hemisphere except Africa: southern beech • Syn: ↑genus Nothofagus • Hypernyms: ↑hamamelid dicot genus • Member Holonyms: ↑Fagaceae, ↑family Fagaceae, ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • Nothofagus — ID 56430 Symbol Key NOTHO7 Common Name southern beech Family Betulaceae Category Dicot Division Magnoliophyta US Nativity N/A US/NA Plant Yes State Distribution N/A Growth Habit N/A …   USDA Plant Characteristics

  • Nothofagus — …   Википедия

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