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Betula lenta is often confused with:
Betula grossa Betula grossa close up
Betula nigra Betula nigra
Native alternative(s) for Betula lenta:
Linnaea chinensis Photo of Abelia chinensis
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Amelanchier canadensis Amelanchier canadensis
Hamamelis virginiana Hamamelis virginiana
Ostrya virginiana Ostrya virginiana

Sweet Birch Betula lenta

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
BET-yoo-luh LEN-ta
Description

Sweet Birch is a deciduous tree that may grow 60 to 70 feet tall. Commonly found in forests of both low and high elevation, 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 in red mature in spring. During summer, 1- to 1.5-inch cones ripen and break apart, exposing the 2 very small, winged nutlets.

Especially sensitive to soil compaction.

Fire Risk: This plant has a low flammability rating.

Seasons of Interest: 

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

 

 

Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#gold#butterflies#sun#deciduous#fall color#yellow#birds#songbirds#full sun#partial shade#spring#wildlife plant#native tree#moths#colorful leaves#host plant#clay soil#flowering#playground#seeds#host#sandy soil#food source#low flammability#NC native#dry soil tolerant#deer damage#deer resistant#children's garden#native garden#fire resistant#catkins#Dreamy Duskywing butterflies#Mourning Cloak butterflies#larval host plant#food source summer#Coastal FACU#food source hard mast fruit#food source herbage#Piedmont Mountains FACU
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#gold#butterflies#sun#deciduous#fall color#yellow#birds#songbirds#full sun#partial shade#spring#wildlife plant#native tree#moths#colorful leaves#host plant#clay soil#flowering#playground#seeds#host#sandy soil#food source#low flammability#NC native#dry soil tolerant#deer damage#deer resistant#children's garden#native garden#fire resistant#catkins#Dreamy Duskywing butterflies#Mourning Cloak butterflies#larval host plant#food source summer#Coastal FACU#food source hard mast fruit#food source herbage#Piedmont Mountains FACU
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Betula
    Species:
    lenta
    Family:
    Betulaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Fire Risk Rating:
    low flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    It is a larval host plant for the Mourning Cloak and Dreamy Duskywing butterflies. Many moths also use as a host plant. Its seeds are eaten by birds.
    Play Value:
    Attracts Pollinators
    Colorful
    Pieces Used in Games
    Wildlife Food Source
    Wind Shimmer
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    highly deer resistant; Fire in the landscape.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 60 ft. 0 in. - 70 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 35 ft. 0 in. - 45 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Tree
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Dense
    Pyramidal
    Rounded
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Deep shade (Less than 2 hours to no direct sunlight)
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Sand
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    more than 60 feet
    NC Region:
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Nut
    Fruit Length:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Width:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Description:
    This plants' seed is a nutlet. During summer, 1 to 1.5-inch cones ripen and break apart, exposing the 2 very small, winged nutlets.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Red/Burgundy
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Catkin
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    The Sweet Birch has small green flowers that are tinged with red and mature in early spring. The flower on the Sweet birch has 3" to 4" male catkins.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    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. The leaves have singly toothed margins.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Brown
    Light Gray
    Surface/Attachment:
    Patchy
    Ridges
    Smooth
    Bark Plate Shape:
    Round
    Bark Description:
    The bark of young trees is smooth, breaking into small chip-like plates as it ages. Dark, shiny, tight bark with horizontal lenticels. Crushed twigs smell like wintergreen.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    Yes
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Recreational Play Area
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Children's Garden
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Moths
    Small Mammals
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Dry Soil
    Fire