Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Betula populifolia


by Science Staff
Not peer reviewed
Last modified: 02/01/2013


Betula L., Sp. Pl. 982. 1753. Gen. Pl. 422. 1754. LECTOTYPE: Betula alba L., designated by Britton & Brown (1913).

Chamaebetula Opiz, Lotos 5: 258. 1855. TYPE: Not designated.

Key to the species of Betula

1. Multi-stemmed shrub...Betula pumila
1. Single- or multi-trunked tree...2

2. Bark on mature trunks whitish...3
2. Bark on mature trunks yellowish-gray to dark reddish-brown or blackish-brown...7

3. Bark on mature trunks tight, not exfoliating... Betula populifolia
3. Bark on mature trunks exfoliating into thin strips...4

4. Leaf undersides pubescent at least along veins...5
4. Leaf undersides glabrous...6

5. Leaves cuneate or acute at the base... Betula papyrifera
5. Leaves subcordate at the base...Betula cordifolia

6. Leaf apices with a long tapering tip...9
6. Leaf apices acuminate without long drawn tip...Betula platyphylla

7. Leaf blades rhombic-ovate, base broadly cuneate to truncate; twigs without a wintergreen taste or odor...Betula nigra
7. Leaf blades ovate to elliptic, base rounded; twigs with a wintergreen taste or odor...8.

8. Bark of mature trunks exfoliating; leaf undersides without shiny resin dots...Betula alleghaniensis
8. Bark of mature trunks not exfoliating; leaf undersides with shiny resin dots...Betula lenta

9. Leaves deltate or rhombic, bases mostly cuneate; axillary buds 4-5 mm long, apices acute or acuminate...Betula pendula
9. Leaves ovate, bases mostly truncate; axillary buds 5-7 mm long, apices obtuse to acute...Betula ×caerulea

List of Betula Species


References to Betula

Back to Betulaceae Page

Brooklyn Botanic Garden