The Beech reference article from the English Wikipedia on 24-Jul-2004
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For the beech tree, see below. Beech is also the name of an aircraft manufacturer that was purchased by Raytheon.

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Fagales
Family: Fagaceae
Genus: Fagus
  Fagus crenata - Japanese beech
  Fagus engleriana - Chinese beech
  Fagus grandifolia - American beech
  Fagus japonica - Japanese blue beech
  Fagus longipetiolata -
  Fagus lucida -
  Fagus mexicana - Mexican beech or Haya
  Fagus orientalis - Oriental beech
  Fagus sylvatica - European beech
Beeches are trees of the Genus Fagus, family Fagaceae, including about ten species in Europe, Asia, and North America. The leaves are entire or sparsely toothed. The fruit is a small, sharply-angled nut, borne in pairs in spiny husks. The beech most commonly grown as an ornamental or shade tree is the European beech (Fagus sylvatica).

The southern beeches belong to a different but related genus, Nothofagus. They are found in Australia, New Zealand, New Guinea, New Caledonia and South America.