Nothofagus antarctica (Antarctic Beech; in Spanish Ñire or Ñirre) is a deciduous tree or shrub native to southern Chile and Argentina from about 36°S to Tierra del Fuego (56° S), where it grows mainly in the diminishing temperate rainforest.
|N. antarctica in Torres del Paine National Park|
Its occurrence on Hoste Island has previously earned it the distinction of being the southernmost tree on earth, however in 2019 it was established that N. betuloides was found further south on Hornos Island. N. antarctica is present on Hornos as well, but the southernmost individual is slightly further north (17m) of the southernmost N. betuloides.
Nothofagus antarctica typically grows 10–25 m (32–80 ft) tall and has a slender trunk with scaly bark. The leaves are simple and alternate, growing 2-4.5 cm long, and often viscid, with a sweetly scented wax. The leaf color is medium green, turning yellow to orange in the fall. The leaves are broadly ovate to triangular, crinkly, rounded at the tips, irregularly and minutely toothed.
N. antarctica has been planted on the North Pacific Coast of the United States and in Great Britain where it thrives. Trees planted in the Faroes, which were imported directly from its southernmost distribution in Tierra del Fuego, have shown good hardiness.
- Baldwin, H. (2018). "Nothofagus antarctica". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2018: e.T96477198A96479935. Retrieved 2020-04-24.
- "Nothofagus antarctica in Washington Park Arboretum" (PDF). Seattle Government. Retrieved 2009-06-27.
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- Donoso, C. 2005. Árboles nativos de Chile. Guía de reconocimiento. Edición 4. Marisa Cuneo Ediciones, Valdivia, Chile. 136p.
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- Rodríguez, R. & Quezada, M. 2003. Fagaceae. En C. Marticorena y R. Rodríguez [eds.], Flora de Chile Vol. 2(2), pp 64–76. Universidad de Concepción, Concepción.
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- "Nothofagus antartica". Encyclopedia of Chilean Flora. Retrieved 2009-06-27.
- "Nothofagus antarctica". Chilebosque. Retrieved 2009-06-27.
- "Nothofagus antarctica, Description and images". Chileflora. Retrieved 2009-06-27.
- "Nothofagus antarctica at Crarae Gardens, Scotland". PlantenTuin Esveld. Retrieved 2009-06-27.
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