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Downy Birch

Betula pubescens

Plant Data

Order:
Fagales
Family:
Betulaceae (Birch)
Type:
Deciduous tree
Flowering Months:
JAN  FEB  MAR  APR  MAY  JUN  JUL  AUG  SEP  OCT  NOV  DEC

Flower:
֍
Green, no petals
 
Male and female catkins appear on the same tree. Erect female catkins are shorter and green. Male catkins hang loosely in groups of 2-4. Often hybridizes with Silver Birch making identification tricky.
Fruit:
Small dry one-sided winged fruits, called 'achenes'.
Leaves:
Deciduous. Ovate, pointed and with serrated margins. Light green in spring, darkening and then turning yellow or orange in autumn. Leaves are often hairy underneath.
Maximum Size:
20 metres tall
Foraging Notes:
The inner bark is edible. The sap is sweet-tasting and can be eaten raw or cooked. Beer can be fermented from the sap. The leaves can be used to make tea and can be eaten raw or cooked.
Never consume a wild plant unless you are 100% certain that it is safe to eat and you know that you have identified it correctly.
Other Names:
Brown Birch, European Birch, European White Birch, Hairy Birch, Hairy Birch, Moor Birch, Mountain Birch, White Birch.
Frequency (UK):
Common
Habitats:
Bogs, fens, floodplains, gardens, heathland, mountains, riversides, roadsides, woodland.