The Garden Guide

Book: A treatise on the theory and practice of landscape gardening, adapted to North America,1841
Chapter: Section IV. Deciduous Ornamental Trees

The European beech Fraxinus sylvatica

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The European beech (F. sylvatica) is thought by many botanists to be the same species as our white beech, or at most only a variety. Its average height in Europe is about fifty feet; the buds are shorter, and the leaves not so coarsely toothed as our native sorts. The Purple beech is a very ornamental variety of the European beech, common in the gardens. Both surfaces of the leaves, and even the young shoots, are deep purple; and although the growth is slow, yet it is in every stage of its progress, and more particularly when it reaches a good size, one of the strangest anomalies among trees, in the hue of its foliage. There is also a variety called the copper-colored beech, with paler purple leaves;* and a more rare English variety (F. s. pendula), the Weeping beech, with graceful pendent branches. (* The finest Copper Beech in America is growing in the grounds of Thomas Ash, Esq., Throgs Neck, Westchester Co., N. Y. It is more than fifty feet high, with a broad and finely formed head.)