My Colby-Sawyer Experience

“Your work... is to resist the easy answer, to seek out the truth... just as the author's work is to face the blank page with faith and optimism.”
Humanities Instructor David Elliott

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.