Flower: Preformed aments, male near the end of the twig, 2 to 3 inches long. Female catkins upright, 1/4 to 1/2 inch long. Flowering in early spring.
Fruit: Cone like, 1 to 1 1/2 inches long, with many hairy scales, containing tiny, 3-winged seeds.
Twig: Slender, orangish-brown in color, smooth or slightly pubescent, with the terminal bud absent. Lateral buds may be slightly pubescent. No wintergreen odor when cut.
Bark: Smooth on young trees, salmon to rust colored. On older trees, developing papery scales, exfoliating horizontally with several colors (creamy to orangish-brown) visible. Later developing coarse scales.
Form: River birch is a medium-size tree with poor form. The trunk generally divides low into several arching branches.
Copyright (c) 2000, 2001 Pee Dee Resource Conservation and Development Council.
This page was last updated on August 31, 2001.