Betula lenta

  • BOTANICAL NAME:  Betula lenta
  • PRONUNCIATION:  BET-u-la  LEN-ta
  • COMMON NAME:  Cherry, Black, or Sweet Birch
  • FAMILY:   Betulaceae
  • NATIVITY:   Eastern North America; common in upland areas.
  • GROWTH HABIT:  Pyramidal in youth, becoming irregular, open and informal at maturity; 40'-60' (80') tall.  Medium growth rate.
  • HARDINESS:   Zone 3-7
  • CULTURE:   Well-drained, deep, rich, moist soil; full sun to light shade.
  • SUCCESSIONAL STATUS: Successional/Seral
  • FACULTATIVE STATUS: Facultative Upland
  • LANDSCAPE USE:  Medium to large tree for landscape use, suited to naturalization and parks.  Easily found where native; not commonly found in the landscape trade.  Flowers in catkins.  Monoecious plant.
  • FOLIAGE:   Alternate, simple, ovate, 2 1/2" - 6" long.  Mostly cordate base, pointed apex, serrate and often doubly serrate.  Glossy dark green in summer, turning golden yellow in fall.
  • BUDS:    Conical, red-brown.
  • BARK:    Dark reddish brown somewhat cherrylike.  Stems with sweet fragrance when crushed.
  • FRUIT:    Catkin, 1 1/2" long maturing in the fall.
  • PROPAGATION:  Seed.
  • PESTS:   Numerous; borer resistant.
  • CULTIVARS:
University of Delaware

University of Delaware Botanic GardensNewark, DE 19716Phone: 302 831-0153