Bog Birch Betula pumila
Family: Betulaceae (Birch)
Other names: Dwarf Birch, Swamp Birch
This shrubby birch is found in boggy and swampy areas, where is it often overlooked as Speckled Alder.
It's fruit clusters resemble the seed "cones" of alders, though
they tend to stand more upright. When crushed, they reveal the
typical birch seed. Bog Birch does have catkins, but they are
very small. It is also easily confused with Sweet-gale,
which also grows in the same habitat and whose clusters of nutlets can
resemble the seed clusters of Bog Birch. Bog Birch is a fairly
common shrub in many boggy areas, where it ranges from knee height to a
bit taller than person.
Catkins and buds of Bog Birch
Winter twig of Bog Birch, showing the leaf buds
Another view of the buds
Another view of the winter twig and buds. The leaf buds can be fairly slender and pointed.
Closeup of catkin buds and seed clusters
When crushed, the seed clusters reveal the typical three-pronged birch seeds
The seed clusters and dead leaves can often be found in the winter
Another view of the leaves
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© 2008 Josh Sayers
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