Also known as Yellow Birch, the tree can be identified by its yellow bark.
Both male and female flowers will occur on the same tree making the plant monoecious. The male catkins are 2–4 in (5–10 cm) long, yellow purple, pendulous (hang downwards), and occur in groups of 3-6 on the previous year's growth. The female catkins are erect (point upward) and 1.5–3 cm (5⁄8–1+1⁄8 in) long and oval in shape, they arise from short spur branches with the leaves. The fruit, mature in fall, is composed of numerous tiny winged seeds packed between the catkin bracts.
The seed is a winged samara with two wings which are shorter than the width of the seed which matures and gets released in autumn.
Native to Northeastern North America. The seeds germinate best on mossy logs, decaying wood or cracks in boulders since they cannot penetrate the leaf litter layer.
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Images by Liné1 - Own work Picture taken with my Panasonic DMC TZ3, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=15908945
Nicholas A. Tonelli from Northeast Pennsylvania, USA - Foliage Walk (15), CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=61600613
By El Grafo - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=19616629
By Keith Kanoti - http://www.forestryimages.org/browse/detail.cfm?im