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]
| |--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
|--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:
|--O. carpinifoliaSM08
`--O. virginianaH03
|--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
|--A. eminens Miki 1977CBH93
|--A. trina (Stanley) Norton in Norton & Hall 1969YB02
`--A. verus (Potonié) Potonié 1960YB02
Betulaceoipollenites Jarzen & Norris 1975CBH93

*Type species of generic name indicated


[A80] Aoki, J. 1980. A revision of the oribatid mites of Japan. I. The families Phthiracaridae and Oribotritiidae. Bulletin of the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology, Yokohama National University 6 (2): 1–89.

[BS01] Bannister, P., & G. L. Strong. 2001. The distribution and population structure of the temperate mistletoe Ileostylus micranthus in the Northern Cemetery, Dunedin, New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Botany 39: 225–233.

[BFD01] Bowman, J., G. J. Forbes & T. G. Dilworth. 2001. The spatial component of variation in small-mammal abundance measured at three scales. Canadian Journal of Zoology 79: 137–144.

[CB06] Christopher, C. C., & G. W. Barrett. 2006. Coexistence of white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus) and golden mice (Ochrotomys nuttalli) in a southeastern forest. Journal of Mammalogy 87 (1): 102–107.

[CD02] Clifford, H. T., & M. E. Dettmann. 2002. A winged fruit from the Tertiary of Queensland. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 48: 79–83.

[CBH93] Collinson, M. E., M. C. Boulter & P. L. Holmes. 1993. Magnoliophyta (‘Angiospermae’). In: Benton, M. J. (ed.) The Fossil Record 2 pp. 809–841. Chapman & Hall: London.

[CS05] Connors, M. J., E. M. Schauber, A. Forbes, C. G. Jones, B. J. Goodwin & R. S. Ostfeld. 2005. Use of track plates to quantify predation risk at small spatial scales. Journal of Mammalogy 86 (5): 991–996.

[D07] Dash, S. S. 2007. Useful plants of Kabi Sacred Grove, Sikkim. Bulletin of the Botanical Survey of India 49: 79–88.

[DD73] Deb, D. B., & R. M. Dutta. 1973. Contribution to the flora of Tirap Frontier Division. Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 69 (3): 547–573.

[F71] Fletcher, H. O. 1971. Catalogue of type specimens of fossils in the Australian Museum, Sydney. Australian Museum Memoir 13: 1–167.

[F11] Fraga, R. M. 2011. Family Icteridae (New World blackbirds). In: Hoyo, J. del, A. Elliott & D. A. Christie (eds) Handbook of the Birds of the World vol. 16. Tanagers to New World Blackbirds pp. 684–807. Lynx Edicions: Barcelona.

[G98] Gruber, J. 1998. Beiträge zur Systematik der Gattung Dicranolasma (Arachnida: Opiliones, Dicranolasmatidae). I. Dicranolasma thracium Staręga und verwandte Formen aus Südosteuropa und Südwestasien. Annalen des Naturhistorischen Museum in Wien. Serie B. Botanik und Zoologie 100: 489–537.

[H03] Healy, R. A. 2003. Mattirolomyces tiffanyae, a new truffle from Iowa, with ultrastructural evidence for its classification in the Pezizaceae. Mycologia 95 (4): 765–772.

[H63] Heard, W. H. 1963. Reproductive features of Valvata. Nautilus 77 (2): 64–68.

[HP-W05] Heitland, W., & H. Pschorn-Walcher. 2005. Biology and parasitoids of the peculiar alder sawfly, Platycampus luridiventris (Fallen) (Insecta, Hymenoptera, Tenthredinidae). Senckenbergiana Biologica 85 (2): 215–231.

[H93] Hickman, J. C. (ed.) 1993. The Jepson Manual: Higher Plants of California. University of California Press: Berkeley (California).

[J23] James, E. 1823. Account of an Expedition from Pittsburgh to the Rocky Mountains, performed in the years 1819 and ’20, by order of the Hon. J. C. Calhoun, sec’y of war: under the command of Major Stephen H. Long. From the notes of Major Long, Mr. T. Say, and other gentlemen of the exploring party vol. 1. H. C. Carey & I. Lea: Philadelphia.

[JVHN90] Jennings, D. T., W. M. Vander Haegen & A. M. Narahara. 1990. A sampling of forest-floor spiders (Araneae) by expellant, Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge, Maine. Journal of Arachnology 18: 173–180.

[K02] Koponen, S. 2002. Ground-living spiders in bogs in northern Europe. Journal of Arachnology 30 (2): 262–267.

[LO98] Lack, H. W., & H. Ohba. 1998. Die Xylothek des Chikusai Kato. Willdenowia 28: 263–276.

[M03] Mockford, E. L. 2003. New species and records of Psocoptera from the Kuril Islands. Mitt. Mus. Nat.kd. Berl., Dtsch. Entomol. Z. 50 (2): 191–230.

[O88] Ohba, H. 1988. The alpine flora of the Nepal Himalayas: an introductory note. In: Ohba, H., & S. B. Malla (eds) The Himalayan Plants vol. 1. The University Museum, University of Tokyo, Bulletin 31: 19–46.

[PHK96] Prescott, L. M., J. P. Harley & D. A. Klein. 1996. Microbiology 3rd ed. Wm. C. Brown Publishers: Dubuque (Iowa).

[RJ11] Rising, J. D., A. Jaramillo, J. L. Copete, P. G. Ryan & S. C. Madge. 2011. Family Emberizidae (buntings and New World sparrows). In: Hoyo, J. del, A. Elliott & D. A. Christie (eds) Handbook of the Birds of the World vol. 16. Tanagers to New World Blackbirds pp. 428–683. Lynx Edicions: Barcelona.

[SP04] Schneeweiss, G. M., T. Palomeque, A. l. E. Colwell & H. Weiss-Schneeweiss. 2004. Chromosome numbers and karyotype evolution in holoparasitic Orobanche (Orobanchaceae) and related genera. American Journal of Botany 91 (3): 439–448.

[SM08] Schönhofer, A. L., & J. Martens. 2008. Revision of the genus Trogulus Latreille: the Trogulus coriziformis species-group of the western Mediterranean (Opiliones: Trogulidae). Invertebrate Systematics 22: 523–554.

[S00] Siddiqi, M. R. 2000. Tylenchida: Parasites of plants and insects 2nd ed. CABI Publishing: Wallingford (UK).

[S96] Smith, D. R. 1996. Aulacidae (Hymenoptera) in the mid-Atlantic states, with a key to species of eastern North America. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington 98 (2): 274–291.

[V72] Voss, E. G. 1972. Michigan Flora. Part I. Gymnosperms and Monocots. Cranbrook Institute of Science and University of Michigan Herbarium.

[WO92] Walter, D. E., & D. J. O’Dowd. 1992. Leaves with domatia have more mites. Ecology 73 (4): 1514–1518.

[WM09] Wang, H., M. J. Moore, P. S. Soltis, C. D. Bell, S. F. Brockington, R. Alexandre, C. C. Davis, M. Latvis, S. R. Manchester & D. E. Soltis. 2009. Rosid radiation and the rapid rise of angiosperm-dominated forests. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 106 (10): 3853–3858.

[WB03] Wang, Q.-M., F.-Y. Bai, J.-H. Zhao & J.-H. Jia. 2003. Bensingtonia changbaiensis sp. nov. and Bensingtonia sorbi sp. nov., novel ballistoconidium-forming yeast species from plant leaves. International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology 53: 2085–2089.

[W01] Wohltmann, A. 2001. Closely related species of Parasitengonae (Acari: Prostigmata) inhabiting the same areas: features facilitating coexistence. In: Halliday, R. B., D. E. Walter, H. C. Proctor, R. A. Norton & M. J. Colloff (eds) Acarology: Proceedings of the 10th International Congress pp. 121–135. CSIRO Publishing: Melbourne.

[WEE70] Woodward, T. E., J. W. Evans & V. F. Eastop. 1970. Hemiptera (bugs, leafhoppers, etc.) In: CSIRO. The Insects of Australia: A textbook for students and research workers pp. 387–457. Melbourne University Press.

[YY22] Yampolsky, C., & H. Yampolsky. 1922. Distribution of sex forms in the phanerogamic flora. Bibliotheca Genetica 3: 1–62.

[YB02] Yi, S., & D. J. Batten. 2002. Palynology of Upper Cretaceous (uppermost Campanian-Maastrichtian) deposits in the South Yellow Sea Basin, offshore Korea. Cretaceous Research 23: 687–706.

[ZB01] Zhang, N., & M. Blackwell. 2001. Molecular phylogeny of dogwood anthracnose fungus (Discula destructiva) and the Diaporthales. Mycologia 93 (2): 355–365.

[Z83] Zink, R. M. 1983. Evolutionary and systematic significance of temporal variation in the fox sparrow. Systematic Zoology 32 (3): 223–238.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *