views updated

Fagaceae An important family of evergreen or deciduous trees in which the leaves are simple, with stipules. The flowers are unisexual, often borne in catkins, and are apetalous, with an inferior ovary. The fruit is a nut within a cupule, the fruits held in clusters of 1–4. Many of these trees yield valuable timber. There are 7 genera, including Castanea (sweet chestnut), Castanopsis, Fagus (beech), Lithocarpus, Nothofagus (southern beech), Quercus (oak), and Trigonobalanus, with about 1050 species, concentrated in the northern hemisphere and absent from Africa.