Bluebells with beech trees in oak woods

Beeches and oaks

Beeches and oaks are best known for their edible fruits. From an oak tree's acorns to the nuts of beech and chestnut trees, these fruits are part of the diet of many animals, including humans. Also recognisable are the alternately arranged, and often lobed, simple leaves and the seperate male and female flowers (catkins). Beeches, oaks and their relatives make up this family of flowering plants that can be deciduous or evergreen and grow either as trees or shrubs. There are around 1,000 species, the majority being oaks, with a wide distribution predominately in the broadleaf forests of the northern hemisphere.

Scientific name: Fagaceae

Rank: Family

Common names:

Beech family

Explore this group


The following habitats are found across the Beeches and oaks distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.


Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

When they lived

Discover the other animals and plants that lived during the following geological time periods.


  1. Life
  2. Plants
  3. Flowering plants
  4. Dicotyledons
  5. Fagales
  6. Beeches and oaks