BEECH, Fagus L. The species found in Iran was previously presented as the same as the common European beech, F. sylvatica L. (e.g., Parsa, IV, p. 1332, VIII, p. 80; Sāʿī, I, p. 164; and Bahrāmī, I, p. 413), but later investigation has proved it to be F. orientalis Lipsky = F. sylvatica L. var. macrophylla Hohen. = F. Sieboldi Koehne, etc. (Mobayyen, II, p. 53; see also Ṯābetī, p. 352). Generally speaking, it grows in Caspian highland forests from Āstārā to Gorgān. The following areas or localities are specifically mentioned in our sources: Āstārā, from Asālem to Rašt, Kargānrūd and other points in Ṭavāleš, Mount Dorfak, Manjīl, Rāmsar, Tālār valley, Nūr, Kojūr, Kalārestāq, Šahsavār, along the road to Čālūs, Palanġčāl (Nowšahr), Šavādkūh, Fīrūzkūh, Gadūk, and Nekā valley. Indigenous names are: qezel-goz (Āstārā), qezel-āḡāj (Kargānrūd), rāš (Gīlān, Rāmsar, Šahsavār, Kojūr, Kalārdašt), rāj (ʿAmmārlū, Manjīl), alūš/alāš/ālāš/aleš (Ṭavāleš, Mt. Dorfak), čeler/čelar/čalar (Nūr), mers (Māzandarān), etc. Modern Iranian botanists tend to refer to this tree as rāš.
Easy to plane, rāš timber is used more than any other wood for making doors, windows, inexpensive furniture, chests, cradles, ladders, banisters, beams, farmers’ tools, wooden shovels, patterns, etc. It is also valued as firewood and for making charcoal.
Ḥ.-ʿA. Bahrāmī, Farhang-e gīāhī (Dictionnaire polyglotte des plantes) I, Tehran, n.d. [1950?].
Ṣ. Mobayyen, Rostanīhā-ye Īrān, Felūr-e gīāhān-e āvandī II, Tehran, 1979.
A. Parsa, Flore de l’Iran, Tehran, IV, 1949, VIII, 1960.
H. Ṯābetī, Jangalhā, deraḵtān o deraḵṭčahā-ye Īrān, Tehran, 1976.
K. Sāʿī, Jangal-šenāsī I, Tehran, 1327 Š./1948-49.
Originally Published: December 15, 1989
Last Updated: December 15, 1989
This article is available in print.
Vol. IV, Fasc. 1, p. 78