Friday, November 4, 2016

UW Botanic Gardens November Plant Profile Of River Birch

Each month the UW Botanic Gardens' Newsletter, E-Flora, posts in detail about a specific plant, among many other interesting posts about events and general information.

This month's featured plant is the river birch or Betula nigra.   

Here is the posting:

November Plant Profile: Betula nigra
Betula nigra, November 2016 Plant Profile

Betula nigra, most commonly known as river birch, is best appreciated for its wonderful exfoliating bark. The light-colored outer bark peals exuberantly to reveal cream, salmon, gray-brown, salmon-brown, cinnamon-brown to red-brown inner bark. With age, the bark darkens and becomes ridged and furrowed. Fortunately, this beautiful tree is one of the most resistant to the recently arrived bronze birch borer. Read more
Scientific name: Betula nigra
Common name: River Birch, Black Birch, Red Birch
Family: Betulaceae
Origin: Massachusetts to Florida, west to Minnesota and Kansas. Naturally restricted to river banks and moist sites.
Height and spread: 40-70 feet. In 2013 the National Champion was recorded at 117 feet in Kentucky.
Location: In the Washington Park Arboretum, an excellent four-trunked specimen planted in 1952 stands along Azalea Way, just at parking lot #19, the Birch lot. Three more single-trunk specimens planted in 1964 are located just to the north along Arboretum creek.

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