Betula nana L.
Betula nana is a shrub.
Betula nana was described by Carl Linnaeus in 1753. The name is considered as validly published.
The shrubs reach heights of 50 to 120 centimetres, they have a decumbent habit with multiple stems. The main growing season is in summer. The plants reach a width of 0.5 to 1.5 metres.
Wood and Bark
The bark is peeling off and silver-grey.
Betula nana is deciduous. The dark-green, simple leaves are alternate. They are orbicular and petiolate with denticulate margins and pinnate venation. They turn an attractive yellow, orange, bright orange to red in autumn.
Flowers and Fruits
Betula nana produces spikes of pendant, light brown cruciform flowers in April.
The shrubs produce brown samaras in summer.
Betula nana is native to North America and Northern Europe.
The shrubs prefer a sunny situation on fresh to moist soil. The substrate should be gritty-sandy or gritty-loamy and comparatively poor with a pH between 4,9 and 6,5. The plants need a soil depth of at least 46 centimetres for good growth. They tolerate temperatures below -45Â°C (USDA zone 1) and need a frost-free period of at least 11 weeks.
Classification after Prof. Dr. Sieber
- heathlands/dunes (poor soil)
Tolerance of special soil conditions
- none: soil salinity
- low: anaerobic soil, calcareous soil
- medium: drought
The recommended planting distance is 1,5 to 1,8 metres. Suited for moorland gardens and for rockeries, as well as suited as bee pasture.
Maintenance and Propagation
- Plants can be cut back down to the trunk (coppicing) as necessary.
Propagate by sowing. The seeds require vernalization.
Pests and Diseases
- Walter Erhardt, Erich GÃ¶tz, Nils BÃ¶deker, Siegmund Seybold: Der groÃe Zander. Eugen Ulmer KG, Stuttgart 2008, ISBN 978-3-8001-5406-7. (Ger.)
- Christoper Brickell (Editor-in-chief): RHS A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants. Third edition. Dorling Kindersley, London 2003, ISBN 0-7513-3738-2.