Belfast Botanic Gardens Tree Archive

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This is one of a series of short articles about trees in the Belfast Botanic Gardens compiled by the Friends group. The tree tag number relates to the black tree maintenance tags, usually fixed on the tree trunk, 2 to 3m above ground level. The binomial name, authority and family used here are the approved names given in the Plants of the World online (at the time of writing).
Family: Nothofagaceae
Nothofagus cliffortioides (Hook.f.) Oerst.
Mountain beech

Black tag 424
54o 34.912N
5o 55.809W

Listed in older references as Nothofagus cliffortioides, it was then classified as a variety of the Southern Hemisphere black beech Nothofagus solandri. As of 2022 it is now back to the species N. cliffortioides. 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 situated in the small triangular area close to the gate to the PEC.

Nothofagus solandri var Cliffortioides in Belfast Botanic Gardens

Male flowers of Nothofagus solandri var Cliffortioides

Nothofagus cliffortioides in Belfast Botanic Gardens Male flowers and leaves of Nothofagus cliffortioides

Photos taken in Belfast Botanic Gardens in 2010 and 2013. Copyright: Friends of Belfast Botanic Gardens.

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