Betula papyrifera Marshall

Locations ofBetula papyrifera Marshall in Virginia

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Detail

Family
Betulaceae
Botanical Name
Betula papyrifera Marshall
Common Name
Paper Birch
Synonym(s)
Flora of Virginia Name/Status
in Taxa Not Treated: Incorrectly Reported Taxa; represented (incorrectly) as Betula cordifolia Regel
Comments
The closely related Betula cordifolia Regel has been widely attributed to Virginia and until recently, was thought to represent most, if not all, of the paper birch in the state. However, an extensive field and herbarium study by the Virginia Natural Heritage Program concluded that all specimens seen conformed closely with key foliar and fruit characters of B. papyrifera. Subsequent examination of the specimens by two Canadian botanists experienced with both species confirmed this conclusion.
Habitat
Acidic montane oak forests and boulder fields with cold-air drainage, usually on north-facing slopes with a history of fire; populations are concentrated at middle elevations, between ca. 550 m (1800 ft) and 900 m (3000 ft) elev. (rarely to 1280 m [4200 ft] elev.). Rare in the mountains from Rockbridge County north to Rappahannock County. Many, if not all, of our populations of this light-demanding, early-successional tree are in decline due to decades of fire exclusion.
Native Status
Native

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