Cokscomb European Beech - Fagus sylvatica 'Cristata' @ Morton Arboretum

I was out at the Morton Arboretum recently (more on that in a different post) and one of the trees that struck me the most was this pair of European Beeches that you see above.  It is hard to tell, but the leaves of these trees are really quite interesting and are closely clustered to the branch stems.

According to the Chicago Botanic Garden:
The Cristata European beech is also known as the cock's comb beech due to the way its curled leaves are clustered on very short stems at the end of branches.
Here's the tag on the tree.  One note:  Check out how the team at the Morton Arboretum attach their identification tags to the trees.  A sturdy, printed metal tag attached with a long nail.  A spring is added in between the label and the nail head which allows the tree to continue to grow and expand and kind of 'push' the label outwards to the head of the nail.  Very clever.

Here's a look at the leaves.

I haven't seen these at any of the garden centers or even The Growing Place, so I don't have high hopes of ever adding one of these to our backyard, but if you come across one, think you should grab it.  It is visually pretty interesting.  


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