Rock Crest Gardens Nursery

Additional information

Common Name

European Beech

Potting Type


Sun Requirement

Full sun to partial shade

Growth Rate

Slow 1"-6" per year

Container Size



F R12




Several different cultivars with attractive foliage variegation are currently being sold in the U.S. under the common name of tricolor beech, including ‘Purpurea Tricolor’, ‘Roseo-marginata’ and ‘Tricolor’. Differences between these cultivars are somewhat confusing. ‘Tricolor’ reportedly originated in France in 1873. As originally described, it featured nearly white leaves spotted green with a pink margin. ‘Tricolor’ is now considered to be quite rare and may no longer be circulating in commerce. Plants sold as ‘Tricolor’ may in some cases be ‘Purpurea Tricolor’. Royal Horticultural Society Plant Finder lists ‘Tricolor’ misapplied, see F. sylvatica ‘Purpurea Tricolor’ in addition to ‘Tricolor’. Moreover, RHS currently takes the position that ‘Roseo-marginata’ (often described as the purple form of ‘Tricolor’) is in fact a synonym of ‘Purpurea Tricolor’. The bottom line is that tricolor beeches in general, regardless of assigned cultivar name, provide often stunning variegated foliage (purple/pink, green and white), particularly in spring. They are understory trees that typically grows to 30’ tall and from a distance usually project a rose foliage color in spring although the actual variegation is a bit more complicated. Leaves (to 4” long) have prominent parallel veins. Monoecious yellowish green flowers bloom in April-May but are not showy.


Contact Us To Learn More About Tricolor'