Betulaceae

Stand of silver birch Betula pendula, copyright Percita.

Belongs within: Faganae.

The Betulaceae, birches and related taxa, is a group of deciduous trees and shrubs with pinnately-veined, sharp-toothed, simple leaves found mostly in temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. Flowers are borne in unisexual inflorescences with staminate flowers forming elongate, pendulous catkins.

Characters (from Flora of North America): Trees and shrubs, deciduous. Winter buds stipitate or sessile, with either 2–3 valvate scales (stipules) or few to many imbricate scales (or occasionally naked); terminal bud absent. Leaves alternate, spirally arranged, 2–3-ranked, simple; stipules deciduous, distinct; petioles present. Leaf blade sometimes lobed, pinnately veined, margins toothed, serrate to nearly entire; surfaces glabrous to tomentose, abaxially often with resinous glands. Inflorescences unisexual; staminate catkins pendulous, elongate, cylindric, conspicuously bracteate, consisting of crowded, reduced, 1–3-flowered clusters; pistillate inflorescences either of erect to pendulous bracteate catkins, or of compact 2–3-flowered clusters subtended by leafy involucres; bracts often nearly foliaceous or woody in infructescences. Staminate flowers bracteate; stamens (1–)4–6; anthers 2-locular, dehiscing by longitudinal slits, pollen sacs often more or less distinct; pistillode sometimes present. Pistillate flowers small, highly reduced; pistil 1, 2(–3)-carpellate; ovary inferior, usually 2-locular proximally, 1-locular distally; placentation axile; ovules 1–2 per locule, pendulous; styles 2, distinct or nearly so; stigmas dry; staminodes usually absent. Fruits nuts, nutlets, or 2-winged samaras, 1-seeded, without multibracteate cupule, often subtended or enclosed by foliaceous hull developed from 2–3 bracts; seed coat membranous; endosperm present, thin at maturity; embryo straight, as long as seed; cotyledons flat or greatly thickened, oily.

Betulaceae [Betulanae, Betuloideae]
`--BetuleaeCBH93
|--AlnusCBH93
| |--A. acuminataF11
| |--A. argutaBT87
| |--A. glutinosaWM09
| |--A. hirsutaM03
| | |--A. h. var. hirsutaA80
| | `--A. h. var. sibiricaA80
| |--A. incanaHP-W05
| |--A. japonica [=A. maritima var. japonica]LO98
| |--A. jorullensisWO92
| |--A. maccoyi Ettingshausen 1886F71
| |--A. maximowieziiM03
| |--A. nepalensisD07
| |--A. rhombifoliaH93
| |--A. rubraPHK96
| |--A. rugosaJVHN90
| |--A. serulataJ23
| |--A. sinuataWM09 [=A. viridis ssp. sinuataH93]
| |--A. tenuifoliaZB01 [=A. incana ssp. tenuifoliaH93]
| `--A. viridisHP-W05
`--BetulaWB03
|--B. albaWEE70
|--B. alleghaniensisBFD01
|--B. alnoidesDD73
|--B. ermaniiWB03
|--E. glandulosaRJ11
|--B. lentaCS05
|--B. luteaS96
|--B. mandshuricaS00
|--B. maximowiczianaLO98
|--B. nanaK02
|--B. nigraCB06
|--B. occidentalisZ83
|--B. papyriferaJVHN90 [=B. alba var. papyriferaH63]
|--B. pendulaBS01
|--B. platyphyllaLO98
| |--B. p. var. platyphyllaLO98
| `--B. p. var. japonicaLO98
|--B. populifoliaJVHN90
|--B. pubescensW01
`--B. utilisO88

Betulaceae incertae sedis:
OstryopsisYY22
OstryaYY22
|--O. carpinifoliaSM08
`--O. virginianaH03
CarpinusSP04
|--C. americanusJ23
|--C. betulusSM08 [incl. C. caucasicaSP04]
|--C. carolinianaV72
|--C. orientalisG98
|--C. tschonoskii [incl. C. laxiflora]LO98
`--C. vimineaDD73
Betuloxylon oligocenicum Kaiser 1880CBH93
Coryloxylon nemejcii Prakash et al. 1971CBH93
AlnipollenitesCBH93
|--A. eminens Miki 1977CBH93
|--A. trina (Stanley) Norton in Norton & Hall 1969YB02
`--A. verus (Potonié) Potonié 1960YB02
Betulaceoipollenites Jarzen & Norris 1975CBH93
AsterocarpinusCD02

*Type species of generic name indicated

References

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