Fuscospora solandri var. cliffortioides is commonly called Mountain Beech. It is endemic to New Zealand growing at higher altitudes than Fuscospora solandri var. solandri (Black Beech). At times Beech dominates the canopy, forming its own distinctive forest type. Often found in hardwood forest plant communities that include but are not limited to Aristotelia serrata, Pittosporum eugenioides, Pseudopanax arboreus, Podocarpus totara and Fuscospora solandri among others.
Fuscospora solandri var. cliffortioides is known as Mountain Beech because it is found at higher altitudes than Black Beech and can be found at various altitudes. It does not grow as tall as F. solandri and tolerates hard, dry infertile land. Differs from black beech by the finer leathery leaves with acute apices and obscure leaf venation. Although the two are closely allied and readily form hybrids, they are distinct species.
For more information on plant communities, we recommend DOC’s publication Native Plant Communities of the Canterbury Plains.
Formally known as Nothofagus solandri var cliffortioides.