OF THE CAROLINAS & GEORGIA

Spermatophytes (seed plants): Angiosperms (flowering plants): Eudicots: Core Eudicots: Rosids: Fabids: Fagales

WEAKLEY'S FLORA OF THE SOUTHEASTERN US (4/24/22):
Betula lenta var. lenta   FAMILY Betulaceae   Go to FSUS key


SYNONYMOUS WITH PLANTS NATIONAL DATABASE:
Betula lenta   FAMILY Betulaceae

SYNONYMOUS WITH Flora of North America
Betula lenta

SYNONYMOUS WITH VASCULAR FLORA OF THE CAROLINAS (Radford, Ahles, & Bell, 1968) 054-03-002:
Betula lenta   FAMILY Betulaceae

SYNONYMOUS WITH Manual of the Southeastern Flora (Small, 1933, 1938)
Betula lenta

 

COMMON NAME:
Sweet Birch, Cherry Birch, Black Birch, "Mahogany"


         To see larger pictures, click or hover over the thumbnails.

image of Betula lenta var. lenta, Sweet Birch, Cherry Birch, Black Birch, "Mahogany"

USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913    pnd_bele_001_lvd

        

image of Betula lenta var. lenta, Sweet Birch, Cherry Birch, Black Birch, "Mahogany"

USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / USDA Wetland flora: Field office illustrated guide    pnd_bele_005_lvd

        

image of Betula lenta var. lenta, Sweet Birch, Cherry Birch, Black Birch, "Mahogany"

JK Marlow    jkm150412_240

April    Pickens County    SC

Jocassee Gorges

image of Betula lenta var. lenta, Sweet Birch, Cherry Birch, Black Birch, "Mahogany"

Sam Pratt    sbp_20140418_113005

April    Sevier County    TN

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

image of Betula lenta var. lenta, Sweet Birch, Cherry Birch, Black Birch, "Mahogany"

JK Marlow    jkm0405i_36

May    Haywood County    NC

Corneille Bryan Native Garden

Outer bark resembles Black Cherry; inner bark tastes like wintergreen, per Guide to the Wildflowers of SC.

image of Betula lenta var. lenta, Sweet Birch, Cherry Birch, Black Birch, "Mahogany"

JK Marlow    jkm160504_350

May    Jackson County    NC

Panthertown

Stipules deciduous, distinct, per Flora of North America.

image of Betula lenta var. lenta, Sweet Birch, Cherry Birch, Black Birch, "Mahogany"

Patrick D. McMillan    pdmblenta_tuckaseegee1

May        

Flowers tiny, staminate in drooping catkins near tip of twigs, per Native Trees of the Southeast, An Identification Guide.

image of Betula lenta var. lenta, Sweet Birch, Cherry Birch, Black Birch, "Mahogany"

Richard and Teresa Ware    rtw_b_lenta_sweet_birch_4

May        

Once the primary source of wintergreen flavoring in medicines and confections, per Weakley's Flora (2022).

image of Betula lenta var. lenta, Sweet Birch, Cherry Birch, Black Birch, "Mahogany"

JK Marlow    s040503_c

May    Haywood County    NC

Corneille Bryan Native Garden

Leaves mostly 2.5-4" long, heart-shaped at base, mostly glabrous, per Woody Plants of the Blue Ridge.

image of Betula lenta var. lenta, Sweet Birch, Cherry Birch, Black Birch, "Mahogany"

JK Marlow    jkm220605_8255

June    Greenville County    SC

Chandler Heritage Preserve

image of Betula lenta var. lenta, Sweet Birch, Cherry Birch, Black Birch, "Mahogany"

JK Marlow    jkm210710_2043

July    Transylvania County    NC

DuPont State Forest

Leaves 2-ranked on short shoots, bases heart-shaped or rounded, per Native Trees of the Southeast, An Identification Guide.

image of Betula lenta var. lenta, Sweet Birch, Cherry Birch, Black Birch, "Mahogany"

JK Marlow    jkm210710_2044

July    Transylvania County    NC

DuPont State Forest

Scraped twigs aromatic; lenticels on twigs not raised or rough to touch, per Woody Plants of the Southeastern US: A Winter Guide.

image of Betula lenta var. lenta, Sweet Birch, Cherry Birch, Black Birch, "Mahogany"

JK Marlow    jkm211027_4628

October    Transylvania County    NC

DuPont State Forest

image of Betula lenta var. lenta, Sweet Birch, Cherry Birch, Black Birch, "Mahogany"

JK Marlow    jkm211027_4630

October    Transylvania County    NC

DuPont State Forest

Prominent horizontal lenticels on the bark of young trees, per Native Trees of the Southeast, An Identification Guide.

image of Betula lenta var. lenta, Sweet Birch, Cherry Birch, Black Birch, "Mahogany"

JK Marlow    jkm0411a_09

November    Haywood County    NC

Corneille Bryan Native Garden

image of Betula lenta var. lenta, Sweet Birch, Cherry Birch, Black Birch, "Mahogany"

JK Marlow    jkm0511b_09

November    Haywood County    NC

Corneille Bryan Native Garden

Leaves a rich golden yellow in autumn, per Trees of the Southeastern United States.

image of Betula lenta var. lenta, Sweet Birch, Cherry Birch, Black Birch, "Mahogany"

JK Marlow    s051106_e2

November    Haywood County    NC

Corneille Bryan Native Garden

Leaf margins singly or irregularly doubly serrate, per Native Trees of the Southeast, An Identification Guide.

 

WEAKLEY'S FLORA OF THE SOUTHEASTERN US (4/24/22):
Betula lenta var. lenta   FAMILY Betulaceae

SYNONYMOUS WITH PLANTS NATIONAL DATABASE:
Betula lenta   FAMILY Betulaceae

SYNONYMOUS WITH Flora of North America
Betula lenta

SYNONYMOUS WITH VASCULAR FLORA OF THE CAROLINAS (Radford, Ahles, & Bell, 1968) 054-03-002:
Betula lenta   FAMILY Betulaceae

SYNONYMOUS WITH Manual of the Southeastern Flora (Small, 1933, 1938)
Betula lenta

 

Find by SCIENTIFIC NAME:

199

Tree
Perennial
Monoecious

Native to the Carolinas & Georgia

Common in Mountains, uncommon in Piedmont

Habitat: forests at low to high elevations; common (uncommon in Piedmont), per Weakley's Flora

map
Click here to see a map, notes, and images from Weakley's Flora of the Southeastern US.

Click here to see a map showing all occurrences known to SERNEC, a consortium of southeastern herbaria. (Zoom in to see more detail.)

LEAVES:
Deciduous
Simple
Alternate

FLOWER:
Spring
Unisexual
Staminate calyx minute, pistillate calyx absent
2 stamens in staminate flowers
Inferior ovary

Flowers in catkins (staminate catkins elongate)

FRUIT:
Summer
Samara

 

TO LEARN MORE about this plant, look it up in a good book!



 


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