Nothofagus moorei

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Antarctic Beech
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Base of trees in Lamington National Park, Queensland, Australia
Base of trees in Lamington National Park, Queensland, Australia
Plant Info
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Kingdom: Plantae
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Division: Magnoliophyta
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Class: Magnoliopsida
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Order: Fagales
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Family: Nothofagaceae
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Genus: Nothofagus
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Species: N. moorei
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Binomial name
Nothofagus moorei
(F. Muell.) Krasser
Trinomial name
Type Species

Nothofagus moorei, once referred to as 'Negrohead beech', but now as 'Antarctic beech' (not to be confused with its South American relative, Nothofagus antarctica) is an evergreen tree native to the eastern highlands of Australia.

It grows in warm temperate rainforests from the Barrington Tops plateau in New South Wales, north to the Lamington Plateau in southern Queensland, between altitudes of 500 m to 1500 m.[1]

These trees typically grow to 25 m tall and have large trunks to 1 m in diameter with scaly, dark brown bark. The leaves are simple and alternate, growing six centimeters long.[2] The leaf color is dark green, with new growth brilliant red, or orange in spring. The tree is partially deciduous, dropping half its leaves in autumn. They are triangular with fine teeth. The flowers are inconspicuous yellow-green catkins. The fruit, produced from December to February, are a capsule of four prickly valves containing three small winged nuts.

Cultivation and uses

N. moorei is a robust species, requiring around 600 mm of rain spread throughout the year. It grows best in highly organic soils, but will tolerate a wide range of soils. It can grow in full shade, albeit slowly, through to full sun. It is easily grown from fresh seed, germinating in a few weeks. Cuttings can be struck, although they tend to perform less well than seed grown plants. It can survive temperatures of 45 °C down to −7 °C.

Both N. moorei and the closely related Myrtle Beech (N. cunninghamii) are excellent hosts for epiphytes.

The timber is an excellent cabinetry timber with strong, tough, close grain. It is a soft pink and can be polished to a fine sheen. It is used for cabinet work and soft turnery. It has a density of 750 kg/m3.


  1. "Barrington Tops". Retrieved on 2007-08-17.
  2. "Nothofagus moorei". Retrieved on 2007-08-17.
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