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

175th Celebration

In 2012 the college celebrated 175 years as an institution of teaching and learning. Visit the 175th website for more information and to view photos of the events.

Gray Birch Betula populifolia
Birch Betulaceae family


Leaves are double-toothed, and conspicuously triangle shaped with a long point at the tip. This is an important distinguishing characteristic.

The flower is in the form of a catkin. These are narrower and shorter than the catkins of yellow, black and yellow birch. Often there will be a single ament pointing up at the end of the twig.

Fruit Like the other birches, the fruit is a catkin, but the gray birch fruit is narrower and shorter than other birches.

Bark is white, chalky, and "not peely." Gray birch tends to look dirtier than paper birch because it doesn't periodically peel. There are often dark colored chevrons (upside-down "v's")at the base of branches.

Form/Habitat: Gray birch is a small tree that often grows up in disturbed places. It's a lover of dry, waste places. 20 - 30' tall, with diameters of 10 - 18".

Winter identification: Look for the single ament sticking up at the end of the twigs, and the distinguishing bark. Twigs are brown with small white lenticels.

NWI Status: FAC


Click here to return to the Angiosperm index.

Click here to return to the Virtual Herbarium Home Page.