Fagus, deciduous beech (Nothofagus gunnii), Lake Fenton, Mount Field National Park.
Fagus (Nothofagus gunnii), Lake Fenton, Mount Field National Park. (photograph: Peter Grant)

Fagus

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Fagus is ​​​​​​​Tasmania’s only winter deciduous species, and one of only a handful of deciduous species in Australia. Fagus is a paleoendemic species (formally widespread but now restricted to a smaller area), of a Gondwanan group which has similar species in New Zealand and South America. Fagus only occurs in areas that have remained long unburnt.​

The annual 'turning of the fagus' in mid-autumn produces a riot of colour in Tasmania's high country. The crinkle-cut leaves turn from brilliant gold to rust red and orange creating a majestic tapestry in the alpine landscape.

The phenomenon attracts an influx of admirers particularly to Lake Dobson and Tarn Shelf at Mount Field National Park and Cradle Mountain's Dove Lake and Crater Lake​. ​

The colours reach a peak around Anzac Day (April 25) when free guided walks, Discovery Ranger activities and other events at Mount Field and Cradle Mountain are held to celebrate this cherished icon. Keep an eye on our News and events pages for upcoming activities.

​Common name: Fagus, deciduous beech or tanglefoot

Scientific name: Nothofagus gunnii

Best place to see it​