Betula tianschanica Rupr.

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Credits

Article from Bean's Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles

Article from New Trees, Ross Bayton & John Grimshaw

Recommended citation
'Betula tianschanica' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.org/articles/betula/betula-tianschanica/). Accessed 2020-10-28.

Genus

Glossary

Critically Endangered
IUCN Red List conservation category: ‘facing an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild’.
monoecious
With male and female flowers on the same plant.
USDA
United States Department of Agriculture.
acuminate
Narrowing gradually to a point.
acute
Sharply pointed.
apex
(pl. apices) Tip. apical At the apex.
asl
Above sea-level.
ciliate
Fringed with long hairs.
cuneate
Wedge-shaped.
glabrous
Lacking hairs smooth. glabrescent Becoming hairless.
glandular
Bearing glands.
lobe
Division of a leaf or other object. lobed Bearing lobes.
ovate
Egg-shaped; broadest towards the stem.
pedunculate
With a peduncle.
petiole
Leaf stalk.
pistillate
Female referring to female plants (dioecy) or flowers (monoecy) or the female parts of a hermaphrodite flower.
pubescence
Hairiness.
pubescent
Covered in hairs.
rhombic
Diamond-shaped. rhomboid Diamond-shaped solid.
samara
Dry indehiscent winged fruit usually with a single seed (as in e.g. Acer Fraxinus Ulmus. Also called a ‘key fruit’.
staminate
Male referring to male plants (dioecy) or flowers (monoecy) or the male parts of a hermaphrodite flower.

References

There are currently no active references in this article.

Credits

Article from Bean's Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles

Article from New Trees, Ross Bayton & John Grimshaw

Recommended citation
'Betula tianschanica' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.org/articles/betula/betula-tianschanica/). Accessed 2020-10-28.

A small tree with a creamy pink, peeling bark; twigs glabrous, glandular. Leaves of firm texture, ovate to rhombic ovate, acuminate, broad-cuneate at the base. Fruiting catkins erect, about 34 in. long and 14 in. or slightly more wide, shortly stalked; bracts slightly ciliate, the lateral lobes rounded, shorter than the narrow mid-lobe; nutlets with wings about equal to the body.

An ally of B. pendula with a wide range in the mountains of central Asia, described in 1869. It is now in cultivation from seeds brought home by John Whitehead in 1979 (The Garden (Journ. R.H.S), Vol. 106 (1981), p. 432).

From New Trees

Betula tianschanica Rupr.

Tree to 12 m. Bark yellowish brown or pinkish white, flaking. Branchlets greyish brown or dark brown, densely pubescent and with a small number of resin glands. Leaves deciduous, 2–7 × 1–6 cm, ovate to rhombic, both surfaces with sparse pubescence and resin glands when young, four to seven lateral veins on each side of the midvein, margins with coarse double serrations, teeth mucronate, apex acute or acuminate; petiole glabrous, 0.5–0.7 cm long. Monoecious; staminate inflorescences catkin-like; pistillate inflorescences catkin-like, pendulous or erect, pedunculate, oblong to cylindrical, 1–4 × 0.5–1 cm. Flowers inconspicuous; bracts pubescent, three-lobed. Fruit a tiny samara with membranous wings. Flowering June to July, fruiting July to August (China). Kuzeneva 1970, Li & Skvortsov 1999. Distribution CHINA: Xinjiang; KAZAKHSTAN; KYRGYZSTAN; TAJIKISTAN. Habitat Temperate deciduous forests, streambanks, shady valleys or rocky slopes, between 1300 and 2500 m asl. USDA Hardiness Zone 6. Conservation status Endangered, due to limited distribution and rapid decline. Illustration Li & Skvortsov 1999. Cross-reference S122.

Unlike several other taxa from the same region, this central Asian birch does seem to be distinct, although it rather resembles Betula pendula. It has been collected on several occasions (for example, by John Whitehead in 1979: Clarke 1988), but in general it does not seem to flourish in the United Kingdom (H. McAllister, pers. comm. 2007). It is grown at Wakehurst Place from seed collected by Christopher Grey-Wilson in the Tien Shan near Almaty, Kazakhstan in 1991. It grows there in small stands, the trees not getting taller than about 10 m, developing a good white trunk and turning clear yellow in autumn (C. Grey-Wilson, pers. comm. 2007). Unfortunately, although its name at least is frequently found in arboreta and catalogues across our area, it is impossible to say whether or not the trees in question are correctly identified, and any that are not from wild-origin seed should be regarded with suspicion.

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