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Betula lenta

Common Name(s):
Sweet birch
Categories:
Native Plants, Trees
Comment:

Betula lenta, commonly called Sweet Birch, is a deciduous tree that may grow 60 to 70 feet tall. The leaves are alternate with singly toothed margins. The bark of young trees is smooth, breaking into small chip-like plates as it ages. Small green flowers that are tinged with red mature in spring. During summer, 1 to 1.5-inch cones ripen and break apart, exposing the 2 very small, winged nutlets.

Sweet birch is a host plant for Mourning Cloak and Dreamy Duskywing butterflies. Many moths also use as a host plant. The tree's seeds are eaten by birds.

The Sweet Birch is highly deer resistant.

Regions:  Mountain

Seasons of Interest: 

     Leaves:  Fall      Bloom:  Spring      Fruit/Seed/Nut: Summer (Nutlet)

Wildlife Value: This plant is highly resistant to damage from deer. It is a host plant for the Mourning Cloak and Dreamy Duskywing butterflies. Many moths also use as a host plant. Its seeds are eaten by birds.

 

Height:
60-70 feet
Flower:
The Sweet Birch has small green flowers that are tinged with red. The flower on the Sweet birch has 3" to 4" male catkins.
Zones:
3-8
Habit:
Deciduous
Site:
The Sweet birch tree will thrive in full sun to partial shade and prefers moist, well-drained soil, but does well in dry, sandy, and clay soils.
Texture:
Medium
Form:
Pyramidal and dense in youth; irregular, rounded habit with age; wide-spreading crown
Exposure:
Sun, part shade
Fruit:
Seed-Nutlet
Width:
35-45 feet
Growth Rate:
Moderate
Leaf:
The leaves of the Sweet Birch are 2.5" to 6" and are alternate, simple leaves that turn a golden-yellow color in the fall.
Tags:
play, deciduous, birds, playground, butterflies, moths, seeds, host, flowering, children’s garden

NCCES plant id: 1919

Sweet birch Sweet birch
WhatsAllThisThen, CC BY-NC-ND - 2.0
Betula lenta Betula lenta leaf detail
Katja Schulz, CC BY - 2.0
Betula lenta blooms Betula lenta blooms
Dan Mullen, CC BY-NC-ND - 2.0
Betula lenta bark Betula lenta bark
Kent McFarland, CC BY-NC-2.0