The twigs are glabrous or thinly hairy. There is an absence of terminal buds, and lateral buds often have a hook at the tip of the bud, which differs from other species in the family Betulaceae.
The flowers are wind-pollinated catkins 3–6 centimeters (1+1⁄4–2+1⁄4 in) long, the male catkins pendulous, the female catkins erect.
Seeds are typically produced annually. Seasonal development begins in the fall as male catkins begin to form and mature. The emergence of female catkins corresponds with the return of leaves around early spring. Male and female fruit matures during the spring season or in the early summer months.
Once mature, the seeds are predominantly spread by wind.
25-30 metres tall
Flood plains and swamps. Heat-tolerant. Native to the Eastern United States from New Hampshire west to southern Minnesota, and south to northern Florida and west to Texas.
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Images by Greg Hume - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=46808610
John Phelan - Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=16460774
By Googoo85 - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=26477603