Black or Sweet Birch Betula lenta
Birch Betulaceae family

No pictures yet.

Leaves are similar to yellow birch leaves - many small teeth, and somewhat "flimsy." 1 - 6" long. Leaf side veins are mostly branched.

Flowers are narrow catkins approximately 1 1/8" long that grow in the spring.

Fruit is also a catkin approximately 1" long by 1/2" wide and opened wider than the flower catkins.

Bark is brown or black with horizontal lenticels. Young bark appears to have thin horizontal stripes. Older bark breaks up into dinner-plate size chunks, peeling off the tree. This is the key way to distinguish black from yellow birch.

Form/Habitat: Black birch is not as common here as yellow, white and gray birch. A medium height tree; 50 - 70' tall with a diameter of 2 - 3.'

Winter identification: Buds and twigs are hairless. Broken or scratched twigs smell like wintergreen, similar to yellow birch.

NWI Status: FACU


Click here to return to the Angiosperm index.

Click here to return to the Virtual Herbarium Home Page.