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Nothofagus pumilio (Lenga Beech or Lenga) is a deciduous tree or shrub in the Nothofagaceae family that is native to the southern Andes range, in the temperate forests of Chilemarker and Argentinamarker to Tierra del Fuegomarker, from 35° to 56° South latitude. This tree is in the same genus as the Coihue. It regenerates easily after fires. It grows well in Scotlandmarker. The wood has good quality, moderate durable, easy-to-work. It is used in furniture, shingles and construction and sometimes as a substitute for American Black Cherry in the manufacturing of cabinets.


In southern Patagonia it grows to a height of up to 30 m (100 ft), and attains a trunk diameter of 1.5 m (5 ft). In more northern regions it grows only at heights above 1000 meters (3300 ft) in the form of a shrub. The leaves are dark green, elliptic toothed and 2–4 cm long, with irregularly lobed margins, and turn to yellow and reddish tones in autumn. The fruit is a small nut 4–7 mm long.

Lenga's Forests in Aisen Region, Chile


The Lenga Beech can be found in the Torres del Paine National Parkmarker, Tierra del Fuego National Parkmarker, Los Alerces National Parkmarker and Nahuel Huapi National Parkmarker among other places. In its southerly range it occurs in dense stands as far south as Isla Navarinomarker. It grows in areas with low temperatures and abundant snow; therefore, in the north half of its distribution it is found only in the Andes Range and at sea level on its southernmost natural environment. It tolerates temperatures −30 °C (−22 °F) and lower, and frosts all seasons of the year.


  • C. Donoso. 2005. Árboles nativos de Chile. Guía de reconocimiento. Edición 4. Marisa Cuneo Ediciones, Valdivia, Chilemarker. 136p.
  • Adriana Hoffmann. 1998. Flora Silvestre de Chile, Zona Central. Edición 4. Fundación Claudio Gay, Santiago. 254p.
  • C. Michael Hogan. 2008 Bahia Wulaia Dome Middens, Megalithic Portal, ed. Andy Burnham
  • 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.

Line notes

  1. Chileflora, 2006
  2. Enciclopedia de la Flora Chilena
  3. C. Michael Hogan, 2008

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