bog birch Betulaceae Betula
nana L. 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.
Additional Range Information: Betula nana is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. See the full-size PDF map.
External Links: USDAFS FEIS Silvics - USDA Plants Database
All material © 2018 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson; Silvics reprinted from Ag Handbook 654; range map source information