Listed in older references as Nothofagus cliffortioides, this is now recognised as a variety of the Southern Hemisphere black beech Nothofagus solandri. The Mountain beech is endemic to New Zealand where, as the name suggests, it is found close to the tree-line. At high altitudes it forms what is termed a 'goblin forest' with individual trees 2m tall or less - similar to the 'krummholtz' vegetation in the Alps where the trees are conifers such as European spruce. At lower altitudes Mountain beech will reach 20m tall and forms a tidy compact small tree. The leaves are smooth-edged (compare with other small-leaved species such as Nothofagus antarctica which grows near this in Belfast Botanic Gardens. Both species are in the small triangular area close to the gate to the PEC.
|Nothofagus solandri var Cliffortioides||Male flowers and leaves of Nothofagus solandri var Cliffortioides|
Photos taken in Belfast Botanic Gardens in 2010 and 2013. Copyright: Friends of Belfast Botanic Gardens.
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