Betula coerulea Blanch.

Common names

Blue Birch

Synonyms

B. coerulea var. grandis Blanch.; B. coerulea var. blanchardii Sarg.

Article sources

Bean

A small tree to about 35 ft high, with a white bark; young shoots warty and glabrous. Leaves 2 to 3 in. long, ovate to triangular-ovate, rounded, cuneate or truncate at the base, shortly tapered at the apex, sharply and irregularly toothed, dull green above, glabrous beneath, with up to eight pairs of veins. Female catkins cylindric, 1 to 112 in. long and about 25 in. wide, short-stalked; lateral lobes of scales spreading, longer than the terminal one; wings of nutlets deeply notched.

A native of eastern N. America from Nova Scotia to Vermont. It resembles B. populifolia, but in that species the leaves are more finely tapered at the apex and the margins sharply double-toothed. There are two specimens of this birch at Westonbirt, planted in 1934, the taller 47 × 134 ft (1965) and another at Hergest Croft, Heref., 45 × 6 ft (1961).

B. × coerulea Blanch. – The status of this tree is uncertain. It is agreed that it is of hybrid origin, with B. populifolia as one parent. The other parent is either B. coerulea-grandis or B. papyrifera. It differs from B. populifolia in having the undersides of the leaves hairy on the midrib and main veins, and from B. coerulea-grandis in its smaller leaves (to about 214 in. long), wedge-shaped at the base.


From the Supplement (Vol. V)

See B. × caerulea in this supplement. It should be noted that the correct spelling of the name is B. caerulea-grandis.

Genus

Betula

Other species in the genus