Fagus Sylvatica Atropurpurea Group
Plant of the month: May
Also Known As: Purple/Copper Beech
Native To: Europe to Caucasus
Habitat: Woodland, widely found in the northern hemisphere
Where is it Found At BBG: Main Lawn
This wonderful tree can be seen near the aviary, as you look from the Loudon Terrace. It has a really unusual shape for Fagus sylvatica because of its multiple divided branches, which is not typical of this specimen. When the sun hits this particular tree at this time of year, each leaf glows like a little stained glass window and you can’t help but admire them when standing underneath. Beech leaves make really good leaf mould which is ideal for improving soil structure and it can also make good potting compost, provided that it is sterilised properly.
This is one of the oldest trees we have at the Gardens, and can be dated back to when the site was farmland. The Gardens used to be called Holly Bank Farm, before Birmingham Botanical and Horticultural Society Limited took over the land, renting it from the Calthorpe Estate back in 1832.