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Betula nana (Dwarf birch) | NPIN

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Betula nana

Betula nana L.

Dwarf birch, Swamp birch

Betulaceae (Birch Family)



USDA Native Status: L48 (N), AK (N), CAN (N), GL (N)

Swamp birch or dwarf birch is a dwarf shrub that has many branches growing along the ground before turning up at the tips. The small, rounded and toothed leaves are dark green on top and paler beneath.


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Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf: Green
Autumn Foliage: yes
Size Class: 1-3 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Green
Bloom Time: Apr , May


USA: AK , CA , CO , ID , ME , MT , NH , NY , OR , SD , UT , VT , WA , WY
Canada: AB , MB , NB , NS , NT
Native Distribution: AK to Greenland
Native Habitat: Wet bogs & tundra areas

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist , Wet
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low
Soil Description: Wet, sandy soils.
Conditions Comments: Adapts to drier soils.


Description: Sow seeds as soon as ripe in moist, sandy, shaded soil. Germination is facilitated by exposure to light; never plant too deeply. Seedlings can be transplanted at one year.
Seed Collection: Birch seed is collected by picking the catkins while they are still green enough to hold together. They shatter easily and should be put directly into bags.
Seed Treatment: One month cold stratification compensates for light treatment.
Commercially Avail: yes

Find Seed or Plants

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

Recommended Species Lists

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Additional resources

USDA: Find Betula nana in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Betula nana in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Betula nana


Record Modified: 2007-01-01
Research By: TWC Staff

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