Nothofagus antarctica


Nothofagus antarctica
Nothofagus antarctica
N. antarctica in Torres del Paine National Park
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Fagales
Family: Nothofagaceae
Genus: Nothofagus
Species: N. antarctica
Binomial name
Nothofagus antarctica
(Forster) Oerst.
Nothofagus antarctica foliage

Nothofagus antarctica (Antarctic Beech; in Spanish Ñire or Ñirre), is a deciduous tree or shrub native to southern Chile and Argentina from about 36°S to Tierra del Fuego (56° S). The southernmost occurrence is on Hoste Island, making it the southernmost trees on earth. It grows mainly in the diminishing temperate rainforests.

It typically grows 10–25 m (32–80 ft) tall and has a slender trunk with scaly bark. The leaves are simple and alternate, growing 2-4.5 cm long, and often viscid, with a sweetly scented wax. The leaf color is medium green, becoming yellow to orange in the fall. They are broadly ovate to triangular, crinkly, rounded at the tips, irregularly and minutely toothed. The flowers are inconspicuous yellow-green catkins. The fruit is a 6 mm, very fragrant 4-valved capsule containing three small nuts.

It has been planted in the North Pacific Coast of the United States[1] and in Great Britain where it thrives. Trees planted in Faroe Islands, which were imported directly from its southernmost distribution in Tierra del Fuego, have shown a good hardiness.[2]

Nothofagus moorei, found in Australia, is also referred to as "Antarctic Beech".

References and external links

  1. ^ "Nothofagus antarctica in Washington Park Arboretum". Seattle Government. http://www.seattle.gov/parks/proparks/projects/ArboretumReport.pdf. Retrieved 2009-06-27. 
  2. ^ Højgaard, A., J. Jóhansen, and S. Ødum (eds) 1989. A century of tree planting in the Faroe Islands. Føroya Frodskaparfelag, Torshavn