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Purpurea

Fagus sylvatica

Purpurea is a purple-leaved form of the common Beech, Fagus sylvatica. It has all the qualities of the species, but extra attraction of the purple foliage.

In fact the foliage colours are ever-changing - emerging in spring with strong red tints, gradually turning the characteristic purple colour over the summer, then deep bronze in the autumn, and finally dried-out brown over the winter.

Purpurea beech trees for sale

  • 11-year bare-root tree £29.50
    Very large size (4m-7m after 10 years)
    (120cm)
    Out of stock
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  • 23-year pot-grown tree £69.95
    In a 12L pot
    Very large size (4m-7m after 10 years)
    Out of stock
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How to grow

Purpurea will does best in well-drained soils.  It is fairly fast-growing, reaching about 10m height and 5m spread after 20 years, and reaching maturity at around 30 years. 

Although usually planted as a feature tree, as with most forms of Fagus sylvatica, several trees can also be closely planted to form very large hedges. The leaves eventually turn brown in the winter, but remain on the tree until new foliage emerges again in the spring.

History

The purple-leaved form of the Common or European Beech has been known since the 17th century. It is commonly known as the Purple Beech or the Copper Beech.

Purpurea characteristics

  • Gardening skillBeginner
  • Attractive featuresAttractive tree / plantAttractive foliageAutumn foliage colour
  • Growth habitUpright
  • Height after 10 years5m-8m / 16ft-25ft
  • SunlightTolerates shadePrefers full sun
  • Growth rateAverage
  • Site conditionsSheltered siteWindy siteFree-draining site
  • WildlifeSeeds / fruits useful for animals
  • Leaf colourDark purple
  • Leaf colour - autumnBronze / Purple
  • Fruit persistenceFruit drops when ripe
  • BarkGrey
  • Annual cycleDeciduous

Similar varieties

  • Fagus sylvatica
    Common Beech
    The Common Beech is a large attractive deciduous tree with good autumn leaf colours.

What will it look like?

Illustrative example of a pot-grown tree of this variety as supplied. Approximate girth: 6/8cm. Trees should reach their mature height after about 10 or more years. We may also have 1-year bare-root trees of this variety - they are not shown here.

Fagus Syl Purpurea beech tree