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Betulaceae -- Birch family

    Neil I. Lamson

    Sweet birch (Betula lenta), also commonly referred to as  black birch or cherry birch, was at one time the only source of  oil of wintergreen. It is the aroma of wintergreen emanating from  crushed leaves and broken twigs to which this birch owes its  common name, sweet. Its specific name, lenta, is   derived from the tough yet flexible twigs that characterize the  species. The wood is also unique. When exposed to air it darkens  to a color resembling mahogany and, in times past, was used as an  inexpensive substitute for the more valued tropical wood.

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Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

Neil I. Lamson

Source: Silvics of North America

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