West Highland Flora

Silver Birch


Betula pendula

 

Betula pendula

Photo Carl Farmer
(9 Jun 2002 Berwick-upon-Tweed)

Occasional, in lowland woods.  Virtually absent as a native in the islands, but becomes much more frequent as you go east on the mainland.

Leaves c 2.5-5 cm long.  Male catkins 3-6 cm.

ID: Each leaf tooth is itself toothed, unlike in Downy Birch.

Other features: When mature the branches droop (see picture below) unlike Downy Birch.  Both species often have silvery bark.

Intermediates with Downy Birch are common where both species occur.  For some reason there is a reluctance to attribute these to hybridisation.

 

Betula pendula

Photo Carl Farmer
(8 Jul 2002 Voss, Norway)

 

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