Sunday, March 25, 2012

Betulaceae - Birch Family

The Betulaceae Family of the Southern Appalachians

Tag Alder
Yellow Birch
Black Birch
River Birch
Paper Birch
American Hornbeam
Eastern Hophornbeam

When I see a tree in this family, I see the worm-like male flowers called catkins and female flowers that are like little pine cones.  The female and male flowers both grow on the same tree before or at the same time that the leaves appear.   

I see toothed, alternate, simple leaves.  The leaves are usually in the shape called ovate or oval.   The leaves are deciduous and turn yellow in the fall before falling to the ground.

The fruit in this family is a single seeded nutlet.

Today, while walking along the White River on Gaston's resort nature trail, I saw a bluebird.  I  drew the bluebird as if it was on a birch tree.  This illustration shows the worm-like male flower called a catkin and the new leaves emerging from a leaf bud.

A Blue Bird of Happiness in a Sweet Birch Tree

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