Betula nana

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Betula nana L.

Betulaceae

Life form: shrub
Usage: ornamental plant

Exposure: sun   1

Moisture: moderately moist bis Moisture: moist

Soil: gritty-sandy - Soil: gritty loam

Arrangement: alternate
Leaves: decidious

Shape: orbicular

Division: simple

                   

Shape: cruciform
Fruit: samara

IV

162B / e0a84a 

Inflorescence: spike

Petals: single
Habit: pendant

Growth form: not specified

Taxonomy

Divisio:
Magnoliophyta
Subdivisio:
Magnoliophytina
Classis:
Rosopsida
Subclassis:
Hamamelididae
Superordo:
Faganae
Ordo:
Corylales

Betula nana is a shrub.

Naming

Betula nana was described by Carl Linnaeus in 1753. The name is considered as validly published.

Taxonomy

Betula nana is a species in the genus Betula which contains approximately 133 to 211 species and belongs to the family of the Betulaceae (Birch Family).

Characteristics

Betula nana - habitus
Betula nana - branches
Betula nana - fruits

Growth

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.

Leaves

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.

Root System

Distribution

Betula nana is native to North America and Northern Europe.

Cultivation

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 -45°C (USDA zone 1) and need a frost-free period of at least 11 weeks.

Classification after Prof. Dr. Sieber

  • heathlands/dunes (poor soil)
  • rockeries

Tolerance of special soil conditions

  • none: soil salinity
  • low: anaerobic soil, calcareous soil
  • medium: drought

Uses

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.

Cultivars

Pests and Diseases

Literature

  • Walter Erhardt, Erich Götz, Nils Bödeker, Siegmund Seybold: Der große 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.

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