Betula nigra L.  - River Birch


 

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Betula nigra - (image 1 of 7)

 

Taxonomy

Family: Betulaceae

Habitat

Banks and floodplains of streams and rivers.

Associates

Frequently found growing with silver maple.

Distribution

NH south to FL, west to southern Ontario, southeast MN, eastern KS, and TX.

Morphology

Medium tree, typically multi-stemmed. Leaves rhombic-ovate, doubly serrate, broad base. Twigs slender, red-brown, with rough lenticels; buds acute. Bark exfoliating heavily. Fruit a cylindrical pubescent ament, erect, maturing in late spring

Notes

Flowers early to mid May in northeast IL.

Wetland Indicator: Facultative Wetland

Rusty-brown or pink-gray exfoliating bark is most readily recognizable feature.

References

Gleason, Henry A. and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. Second Ed.
The New York Botanical Garden. Bronx, NY

 

Swink, F. and G. Wilhelm. 1994. Plants of the Chicago Region.
Indiana Academy of Science. The Morton Arboretum. Lisle, Illinois

 

USDA, NRCS. 2002. The PLANTS Database, Version 3.5 (http://plants.usda.gov).
National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA

 


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Michael Hough 2004