Virginia Tech Dendrology

dwarf birch Betulaceae Betula glandulosa Michx. Listen to the Latin symbol: BEGL
Leaf: Alternate, simple, pinnately-veined, nearly round, 1/2 to 1 inch long, with 10 or fewer rounded large teeth on each side, thickened, sticky and resinous, shiny green above and a bit paler below, with petioles longer than the very similar B. nana.
Flower: Species is monoecious; single preformed male catkins are 1/2 inch long, and become much longer and yellow-green as they open in late spring; females are upright, 1/2 inch long, and reddish green in color.
Fruit: Cone-like aggregate of winged nutlets, 1/2 to 1 inch long, upright, ripen in late fall.
Twig: Slender, dark reddish brown, covered with resinous glands, mostly glabrous; buds are reddish-brown and resinous; spur shoots numerous; no taste or odor.
Bark: Shiny, dark brown, numerous pale horizontal lenticels; larger stems develop dull white markings.
Form: Dense shrub reaching up to 10 feet in height with a round crown in the southern parts of its range. It is much shorter (18 inches) and more prostrate in the northern (artic) portions of its range.
Looks like: bog birch - paper birch
flower fruit twig map
Additional Range Information: Betula glandulosa is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. See states reporting dwarf birch.
External Links: USDAFS Additional Silvics - USDA Plants Database
All material © 2017 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson