Description: Trees or rarely shrubs, deciduous or evergreen, mostly monoecious.
Leaves alternate (rarely whorled), simple, entire or toothed or lobed; stipules usually shed early.
Flowers usually unisexua. Male flowers in catkins; perianth with 4–7 scales occasionally fused at bas; stamens 4–14(-40); filaments free. Female flowers solitary or clustered, with a basal bract; ovary inferior, usually 3-chambered, each with 2 ovules; styles 3–6.
Fruit a nut, solitary or 2 or 3 clustered, in a cup-like structure of various forms.
Distribution and occurrence: World: 8 genera, Common in temperate Northern Hemisphere, also high altitude tropics. Australia: numerous species cultivated but rarely naturalised.
Angiosperm Phylogeny Website (Family: Fagaceae, Order: Fagales)
Species commonly cultivated include Castanus sativa (Sweet Chestnut), Fagus spp. (beeches), Quercus spp. (oaks)
Text by KL Wilson (Oct 2015)
Taxon concept: R Spencer (1997) Horticultural Flora of SE Australia vol. 2
|One genus in NSW: Quercus|