Tree Species of the World's Boreal Forests

Herbs, Shrubs and Other Plants

Terminology | Pictorial

Betula pendula
European White Birch
Betulaceae (Birch Family)

A medium-sized deciduous tree, pyramidal becoming rounded with graceful, pendulous branching habit, growing to a height of 12 - 15 m.

European White Birch Description

Distinguishing Features - Leaves: broadly ovate, sometimes rhomboidal to diamond shaped, wedge-shaped or truncate at base, 2.5 - 7.5 cm long, coarsely doubly serrate, slenderly tapered at apex; dotted with glands on both surfaces; yellow leaf color in fall. Young twigs thin and usually pendulous. Bark: white, becoming blackish with age. Flowers: bloom in late-April to mid-May, male catkins mostly in twos, but singly or in threes; 3.8 - 8.9 cm long, female catkins 1.9 - 3.2 cm long.


Native to Europe and some high altitude parts of Asia; introduced to North America as an ornamental species.


The European White Birch is a very graceful, relatively short-lived tree grown for its ornamental white bark.

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