A deciduous tree, it can easily attain a huge crown and enormous circumference. Bark is thin, gray, and smooth, resembling elephant skin. The `Atropunicea’ form is the copper or purple beech, where the foliage is not green but hues of orange and purple; each color can vary from tree to tree. This tree is native to Europe but rather common in Portland. The `Tricolor’ form has leaves marked with white and edged with pink.