Silver birch

Image of a Silver birch

Family: Betulaceae

Scientific name: Betula pendula Roth.

Description: It is a no long-lived deciduous tree that can grow up to 25 m. It has a thin white scaled bark, with smooth horizontal silver paper-like strips and long horizontal cracks called lenticels. In the younger specimens the bark is smooth. Its light foliage is egg-shaped with thin secondary and hanging branches. Its simple leaves are alternate, rhomboidal, with petioles and doubly serrate. Its fruit is a nutlet with two wings (samara). It lives in mixed forests with prevalence of beech, where it settles in the clearings and on the debris slopes mainly with northern exposure.    

Distribution: It can be found in cold areas of Europe and Asia and – in Abruzzo – on almost each mountain massif.

Note: It is an endangered species, included in the “Lower Risk” category (LR) of the Regional Red List of the Italian Plants and according to the Abruzzo Regional law 11.9.1979 n. 45 it is a protected species.

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