Fagus is Tasmania’s only winter deciduous species, and one of only a handful of deciduous species in Australia. Fagus is a paleoendemic species (formerly 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 colours reach a peak around Anzac Day (April 25) and typically will continue to stay vibrant for around a month.
The phenomenon attracts an influx of admirers particularly to Lake Fenton and Tarn Shelf at Mount Field National Park and Cradle Mountain's Dove Lake and Crater Lake.
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Common name: Fagus, deciduous beech or tanglefoot
Scientific name: Nothofagus gunnii
Best place to see it