FAGACEAE - Beech Family

Deciduous or evergreen trees or shrubs

Leaves alternate, simple, often lobed, with stipules

Flowers inconspicuous, unisexual, reduced, staminate flowers solitary, in catkins or heads, pistillate flowers solitary or few in clusters

Fruit a 1-seeded nut, seed is solitary due to abortion of other embryos

8 genera, 900 species, divided into 3 subfamilies
1. Fagoideae - Fagus (beech)
2. Castaneoideae - Castanea (chestnuts)
3. Quercoideae - Quercus (oaks)

Economic uses: food (chestnuts) lumber, cork, ornamental and shade trees

Diagnostic characters: trees with simple, alternate leaves, fruit a nut, partially covered with a cupule of hardened bracts