Etymology: Betula: ancient Latin name
Plants: perennial, erect, coarse, irregular shrub 4'-13' tall; smooth bark dark reddish brown; pale, inconspicuous lenticels; often forming large colonies; twigs not tasting or smelling like wintergreen
Leaves: stiff, elliptic to obovate to widely ovate; broadly-round above and at the base; edges coarsely toothed
Flowers: male catkin 1/3"-3/4" long on 1/4"-1/3" stalks; blooms in late spring
Fruits: cylindrical, erect fruit clusters; samara wings slightly narrower than the body, widest near the middle
Habitat: moist to wet; bogs, calcareous fens, wooded swamps, muskegs, lakeshores
Conservation Status: Native
Flora of North America: Flora of North America Floristic Rating: Coefficient of Conservatism = 7, Wetland Indicator = OBL USDA Plants Database: Federal Distribution and detailed information including photos University of Wisconsin - Green Bay: Shrubs: Photos, descriptions, information USGS - Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center: Wetland Plants and Plant Communities of Minnesota and Wisconsin USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS): Images of seeds, fruits, embryos, etc.