A genus of about 10 species of monoecious (male and female flowers borne on the same plant), deciduous trees with smooth bark and slender shoots. Leaves are simple, alternate, 2-ranked, entire to dentate. Flowers are small. Fruit a stiff hairy capsule which splits into 4 sections to release 2, rarely 3, glossy tan-brown nuts. Native to northern temperate regions. Only one species, F. sylvania, is widely grown outside of its native range, i.e., Europe.
Fagus: the Greek and Latin name for these trees.