Name: Common Beech
Scientific name: Fagus sylvatica
Category: Trees and bushes
Nature Stars: 30
About: A tall forest tree.
How to identify: Told by the shiny, soft oval leaves, the smooth grey bark, the pointed torpedo-shaped buds and the large hairy fruit that contains the beech nuts or 'mast'.
Where: Widespread in southern and central England, widely planted elsewhere.
Fantastic fact: Beech has been cultivated for many years, producing some beautiful varieties, including the deep red Copper Beech.
Photograph credit: Philip Precey