Comprehensive DescriptionRead full entry
General: Birch family (Betulaceae). Water birch (Betula occidentalis) is a small native tree or shrub that grows in clusters along the banks of streams and lakes. The leaves are thin, ovate, rather coarsely toothed and are usually 1-2 inches long. The fruit is tiny hairy nutlets with wings broader than the seed. The bark is thin, dark reddish-brown to black, with mark horizontal slits, and does not peel like other birches.
Distribution: White birch is distributed from southern Manitoba to southern Alaska and North Dakota and south to California and New Mexico. For current distribution, please consult the Plant profile page for this species on the PLANTS Web site.