Subordinate Taxa
Scientific Name:
Nothofagus Blume, Mus. Bot. 307 (1851), nom. cons.
  • Fagus sect. Nothofagus (Blume) A.DC., Prodr. (DC.) 16, 121 (1864)
  • = Fagaster Spach, , 142 (1841)
  • = Calucechinus Hombr. & Jacquinot, Voy. Pôle Sud, Bot. Atlas t. 6 (1843)
  • Nothofagus subgen. Molischia sect. Calucechinus (Hombr. & Jacquinot) Krasser, Ann. K. K. Naturhist. Hofmus. 11: 162 (1896) nom. inval.
  • = Calusparassus Hombr. & Jacquinot in Hombron & Jacquinot, Voy. Pôle Sud, Bot. Atlas t. 6 (1843) nom. rej.
  • Nothofagus subgen. Molischia sect. Calusparassus (Hombr. & Jacquinot) Krasser, Ann. K. K. Naturhist. Hofmus. 11: 163 (1896)
  • = Fagus sect. Eufagus A.DC., Prodr. (DC.) 16, 118 (1864) nom. inval., pro parte
  • = Nothofagus subgen. Molischia Krasser, Ann. K. K. Naturhist. Hofmus. 11: 162 (1896) nom. inval.
  • = Nothofagus subgen. Pumiliae (Steenis) Baum.-Bod. (1929) nom. inval.
  • Nothofagus sect. Calucechinus subsect. Pumiliae Steenis, J. Arnold Arbor. 34: 336 (1953)
  • Nothofagus subgen. Nothofagus sect. Pumiliae (Steenis) Hill & Read, Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 105: 69 (1991)
  • = Nothofagus sect. Deciduae Steenis, Blumea 7: 146 (1952)
  • = Nothofagus sect. Plicatae Steenis, Blumea 7: 306 (1952) nom. illeg.
  • = Nothofagus sect. Calucechinus subsect. Antarcticae Steenis, J. Arnold Arbor. 34: 334 (1953) nom. inval.

Deciduous or evergreen trees up to 20 m high. Stipules peltate. Leaves distichous; fimbrial vein absent, with globular, glandular trichomes on cuticle; unicellular trichome type A absent; solitary unicellular trichomes type C absent. Stomata parallel to long axis of leaf; with thickened T-pieces of cuticle at the poles separating the two guard cells, without giant stomata over the major veins; stomata size within the areoles ± even. Upper epidermal cells over veins more elongate than areolar cells, with granular cell walls. Male dichasium 1–3-flowered; perianth campanulate, lobes prominent; stamens <20, developing centripetally; anthers slightly curved; distal connective protrusion weakly developed, filament connective free, without epidermal papillae. Female dichasium with 1 central dimerous flower and 2 lateral trimerous flowers, or 1 trimerous flower missing; stigmas tongue-shaped and decurrent. Cupule with 4 valves; outer surface of valves with simple trichomes; lamellae membranous; nuts triquetrous or lenticular, 2- or 3-winged.

Pollen: Peritreme, mesocolpia straight to convex; colpi short, spatulate or parallel-sided, with U-shaped ends, margins conspicuously thickened, annulate, aperture 4–11 µm long, polar to equatorial length ratio = 0.3.


New Zealand, Chile, Argentina. Nothofagus is endemic to southern South America (Chile and Argentina) with five species. One species is documented as a casual naturalisation in New Zealand.

Number of species in New Zealand within Nothofagus Blume
Exotic: Casual1
Blume, C.L. von 1851: Ord. Cupulifereae. Museum Botanicum Lugduno-Batavum: 305–320.
Candolle, A.L.P.P. de 1864: Prodromus Systematis Naturalis Regni Vegetabilis. Vol. 16. Part 2. Victoris Masson et fillii, Paris.
Cockayne, L.; Allan, H.H. 1934: An annotated list of groups of wild hybrids in the New Zealand flora. Annals of Botany 48: 1–55.
Cockayne, L.; Atkinson, E.H. 1926: On the New Zealand wild hybrids of Nothofagus. Genetica 8: 1–43.
Du Rietz, G.E. 1930: On domatia in the genus Nothofagus . Svensk Botanisk Tidskrift 24: 4.
Ford, K.A.; Heenan, P.B.; Smissen, R.D. 2016: Nothofagaceae. In: Breitwieser, I.; Brownsey, P.J.; Wilton, A.D. Flora of New Zealand — Seed Plants. Fascicle 3. Manaaki Whenua Press, Lincoln.
Haase, P. 1992: Isozyme variability and biogeography of Nothofagus truncata (Fagaceae). New Zealand Journal of Botany 30: 315–328.
Heenan, P.B.; Smissen, R.D. 2013: Revised circumscription of Nothofagus and recognition of the segregate genera Fuscospora, Lophozonia, and Trisyngyne (Nothofagaceae). Phytotaxa 146(1): 1–31.
Hill, R.S.; Read, J. 1991: A revised infrageneric classification of Nothofagus (Fagaceae). Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 105: 37–72.
Hombron, J.B.; Jacquinot, C. 1843–1853: Botanique, Atlas. Dumont D'Urville, J.S.C. (ed.) Voyage au Pôle Sud et dans l'Oceanie, sur les Corvettes l'Astrolabe et la Zélée: exécuté par ordre du roi pendant les années 1837-1838-1839-1840. Gide, Paris.
Krasser, F. 1896: Bemerkungen zur Systematik der Buchen. Annalen des K. K. Naturhistorischen Hofmuseums 11: 155–163.
Mabberley, D.J. 2008: Mabberley's plant book, a portable dictionary of plants, their classification and uses. Edition 3. Cambridge University Press.
Ogden, J. 1989: On the coenospecies concept and tree migrations during the oscillations of the Pleistocene climate. Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand 19: 249–262.
Ogden, J.; Stewart, G.H.; Allen, R.B. 1996: Ecology of New Zealand Nothofagus forests. In: Veblen, T.T.; Hill, R.S.; Read, J. (ed.) The ecology and biogeography of Nothofagus forests. Yale University Press, New Haven. 82–25.
Peterson, K.R.; Pfister, D.H.; Bell, C.D. 2010: Cophylogeny and biogeography of the fungal parasite Cyttaria and its host Nothofagus, southern beech. Mycologia 102: 1417–1425.
Poole, A.L. 1950a: Studies of New Zealand Nothofagus 1. Taxonomy and Floral Morphology. Transactions of the Royal Society of New Zealand 78: 323–380.
Poole, A.L. 1950b: Studies of the New Zealand Nothofagus species 2. Nut and cupule development. Transactions of the Royal Society of New Zealand 78(4): 502–508.
Poole, A.L. 1951: Hybrid southern beeches. New Zealand Journal of Forestry 6: 144–145.
Poole, A.L. 1952: The development of Nothofagus seed. Transactions of the Royal Society of New Zealand 80: 207–212.
Poole, A.L. 1958: Studies of New Zealand Nothofagus species. 3. The entire-leaved species. Transactions of the Royal Society of New Zealand 85: 551–564.
Poole, A.L. 1987: Southern Beeches. Science Information Publishing Centre, DSIR, Wellington.
Spach, É. 1841: Végétaux Phanérogames Dicotylédones. In: Histoire Naturelle des Végétaux. Phanérogames. Vol. 11. Libraire encyclopédique de Roret, Paris. 444.
Steenis, C.G.G.J. van 1952a: Errata. Blumea 7: 306.
Steenis, C.G.G.J. van 1952b: Preliminary account of Papuan Nothofagus. Blumea 7: 146–147.
Steenis, C.G.G.J. van 1953: Results of the Archbold Expedition. Papuan Nothofagus. Journal of the Arnold Arboretum 34: 301–373.
Wardle, J. 1984: The New Zealand Beeches. Ecology, Utilisation and Management. New Zealand Forest Service. Caxton Press, Christchurch, New Zealand.
Wilcox, M.D.; Ledgard, N.J. 1983: Provenance variation in the New Zealand species of Nothofagus. New Zealand Journal of Ecology 6: 19–31.