Description: Evergreen or deciduous trees, rarely shrubs, usually monoecious; buds scaly.
Leaves alternate, simple, entire or toothed; stipules shed early.
Flowers small, unisexual, solitary or in few-flowered clusters surrounded by an involucre of bracts, axillary in leaves of the current season's growth. Male flowers commonly in reduced dichasia of 1–5 flowers; sepals commonly 6, scale-like; stamens 6–many, anthers opening by longitudinal slits. Female flowers 1–3, surrounded by a persistent involucre, at the base of the male inflorescence or from separate axils; ovary of 3 carpels united to form a compound, inferior ovary, styles distinct and as many as the carpels, loculi as many as the carpels with 2 ovules in each.
Fruit a nut, 1–3 enclosed collectively by the enlarged and hardened multibracteate involucre.
Distribution and occurrence: World: 35 species, Australia, New Guinea, New Caledonia, New Zealand & South America. Australia: 3 species (endemic), Qld, N.S.W., Vic., Tas.
Text by G. J. Harden
|One species in NSW: Nothofagus moorei|