Native to the British Isles, continental Europe, and western Asia . Prefers cool, moist areas. Distinguishing Characteristics: Fine hairs on margin with tomentum on veins. Male flowers borne on globose heads, while female flowers borne on spikes. Edible nuts are irregular triangularly shaped in pairs in a woody husk and covered with spines. Bark is gray-blue in colorsmooth. Often branches close to ground level on tree . Major uses: as a solitary specimen or shade tree in parks, golf courses, estates, or other large areas; not recommended near roadways or disturbed areas. More than 30 cultivars or this tree have been produced for their form, leaf shape, and fall color: varying from a golden copper color to purple. Information provided by Kristin Bush, 2002.