Virginia Tech Dendrology

bog birch Betulaceae Betula nana L. Listen to the Latin symbol: BENA
Leaf: Alternate, simple, pinnately-veined, broadly obovate to nearly round, 1/2 to 1 inch long, often wider than long; rounded large teeth, thickened, shiny green above and a bit paler below.
Flower: Species is monoecious; preformed male catkins are 1/2 to 1 inch long, pendant, and become much longer and yellow-green as they open in mid-spring; females are upright, 1/2 to 1 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, rapidly growing shoots maybe densely hairy, glandular and sticky, but later become smooth; spur shoots numerous; no taste or odor.
Bark: Shiny, reddish brown, numerous horizontal lenticels; larger stems develop dull white markings.
Form: Dense shrub reaching up to 5 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 (Arctic) portions of its range.
leaf flower fruit twig bark form1 map
Additional Range Information: Betula nana is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. See states reporting bog 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