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Range Tasmania

Greeting Card - Cradle Mountain Fagus

Greeting Card - Cradle Mountain Fagus

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It’s an essential pilgrimage in Tasmania – a seasonal phenomenon that the locals call “the turning of the fagus”.

In late April and May, Tasmania’s only winter-deciduous native tree turns on its autumn show, triggering a pilgrimage to see entire hillsides ablaze in shades of rust, orange and gold.

The fagus hasn’t quite achieved the renown of other endemic Tasmanian plants, such as the Huon pine, yet this prehistoric survivor of the Gondwana era is remarkable.

It goes by a few names: fagus, Nothofagus gunnii, deciduous beech, and tanglefoot, for its low, twisted branches growing in thickets that can trip bushwalkers. It’s one of only a handful of native deciduous species in Australia.

The unique Tasmanian fagus thrives in cool, wet locations, typically above 800m. For most of the year it’s a tree you have to go looking for, but in autumn its crinkle-cut leaves change colour and it announces itself in flamboyant style.

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