Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Low Birch (Betula pumila)
- Family: Birch (Betulaceae)
- Flowering: May.
- Field Marks: This is the only shrubby birch in the midwest. Its bark does not peel or shred.
- Habitat: Bogs.
- Habit: Shrub to 9 feet tall, with slender brown twigs.
- Buds: Up to 1/4 inch long, pointed, more or less hairy.
- Leaves: Alternate, simple, obovate to ovate to orbicular, rounded or pointed at the tip, rounded or tapering at the base, coarsely toothed, usually smooth on the upper surface, paler and smooth or hairy on the lower surface, up to 1 1/2 inches long, up to 1 inch wide; leaf-stalks about 1/4 inch long, smooth or hairy.
- Flowers: Male and female flowers born separately but on the same plant, the male in drooping clusters, the female in erect clusters up to 1 inch long.
- Fruits: Tiny nutlets with broad wings, each subtended by a 3-lobed bract, crowded together in a cylindrical cone up to 1 1/2 inches long and up to 1/2 inch thick.
Previous Species -- River Birch (Betula nigra)
Return to Species List -- Group 5
Next Species -- American Hornbeam (Carpinus caroliniana)