From coast to summit - Birches
Dwarf Birch leaves of the Downy Birch Leaves of Silver Birch
The Dwarf Birch Betula nana has almost circular leaves with rounded teeth all the way round. It grows to approximately 1 m high on moors and blanket bogs in the north and west. The two other species are trees.
The Downy Birch Betula pubescens has leaves that are only a little longer than they are wide with irregular single teeth. The bark is brown or grey and not usually silver. It often hybridizes with Silver Birch giving intermediates..
Silver Birch Betula pendula usually has distinctive pale bark with dark markings. The leaves have a long point and there are small teeth on the larger teeth on the margin. The seeds have wider wings than Downy Birch.
Male catkin on Birch
Female catkin of Birch
Bark of Downy Birch
Bark of Silver Birch
Silver Birch seeds
Male catkins shed pollen into the wind, landing on the upright female catkins.
Downy Birch bark Silver Birch bark
Birch have small, winged seeds which enable the trees to colonize rapidly.