Plants and People Project
Birches - Betula
Native Americans used many parts of several species of birches for food and flavoring. NativeTech.org How Indians Use Wild Plants for Food, Medicine and Crafts.
Many parts of the birch were used to make medicines. Traditional medicine used birches to treat illnesses of the gastrointestinal tract including: diarrhea, dysentery and cholera. Indian Herbology of North America
Commonly recognized by a white bark with horizontal lines, the birch can actually have white, cream, yellow, brown and nearly black colored bark.
Beer was made from the sap of the birch and oil of wintergreen was distilled from the inner bark and twigs. The Herbalist
The barks of several varieties of birch trees were used to make dyeing to get light browns and blacks. Natural Dyes and Home Dyeing
White birch wood is used for ice cream sticks, tooth picks, bobbins, broom handles and for pulp. Audubon Field Guide to Trees of the Eastern Region
The bark of the white birch, also called canoe birch, has been used for centuries to make birch bark canoes.
Birch is a pioneer species, the shade intolerant tree is one of the first colonizers of fire disturbed or clear-cut lands.
It is a wonderful landscape tree with 4 seasons of interest. Birches are excellent focal points in a garden bed.
River Birch flowers in the spring. The male flowers are catkins.
Angiosperm families off site
What tree is it? off site
River Birch Leaves
River Birch bark
Female flowers are cone shaped. The seeds are a favored food of goldfinches.
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