Nothofagus menziesii

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Silver beech
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Fagales
Family: Nothofagaceae
Genus: Nothofagus
N. menziesii
Binomial name
Nothofagus menziesii

Lophozonia menziesii
Fagus menziesii

Nothofagus menziesii, commonly known as silver beech (Māori: tawhai, tahina), is a tree of the southern beech family endemic to New Zealand. Its common name probably comes from the fact that its bark is whitish in colour, particularly in younger specimens.[1] It is found from Thames southwards in the North Island (except Mount Taranaki/Egmont),[2] and throughout the South Island. Silver beech is a forest tree up to 30 m tall. The trunk, which is often buttressed, may be up to 2 m in diameter.[1][3] The leaves are small, thick and almost round in shape, 6 to 15 mm long and 5 to 15 mm wide with rounded teeth which usually occur in pairs,[1] 1 or 2 hair fringed domatia are found on the underside of each leaf.[1][2] Its Māori name is Tāwhai. It grows from low altitudes to the mountains. N. menziesii was proposed to be renamed Lophozonia menziesii in 2013.[4]

Cultivation and uses[edit]

Adult tree

The wood is hard and is used for furniture. It is not durable outdoors. The bark contains a black dye and tannin which is used for tanning leather.


  1. ^ a b c d John Dawson and Rob Lucas "The Nature Guide to the New Zealand Forest", Godwit, 2000
  2. ^ a b H.H. Allan, "Flora of New Zealand,volume 1",Government Printer, 1961
  3. ^ J.T. Salmon, "A Field Guide to the Native Trees of New Zealand", Reed Methuen, 1986
  4. ^ HEENAN, PETER B.; SMISSEN, ROB D. (2013). "Revised circumscription of Nothofagus and recognition of the segregate genera Fuscospora, Lophozonia, and Trisyngyne (Nothofagaceae)". Phytotaxa. 146 (1): 131. doi:10.11646/phytotaxa.146.1.1. Retrieved 31 May 2015.

External links[edit]