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An individual instance of Betula nigra (river birch)
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At the corner of Rand/Sarratt nearest Alumni Lawn is this shaggy-barked tree.

The most distinctive feature of river birch is its peeling bark, which hangs in layers with colors ranging from gray to brown to orange.  Rows of dark dots (lenticels) mark the bark layers.   The leaves are small and toothed.  The fruits are a conelike, dry structure that shatters to release the seeds, leaving a central stalk.

As the name suggests, river birch is found along rivers and streams.  It is fairly common and is the only birch you are likely to see in the wild in middle Tennessee.

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This organism is a living specimen that is part of the  Vanderbilt University Arboretum  with the local identifier 3-300.

This particular organism is believed to have managed means of establishment.

This organismal entity has the scope: multicellular organism.


Betula nigra


sec. 1993

common name: river birch
family: Betulaceae
Identified 2002-04-17 by Steven J. Baskauf


Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Davidson County, Tennessee, US
Click on these geocoordinates to load a map showing the location: 36.14681°, -86.80384°
Coordinate uncertainty about: 10 m.

Location of individual determined from GIS database.

Occurrences were recorded for this particular organism on the following dates:

The following images document this particular organism.
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Image View
whole tree (or vine) - general
whole tree (or vine) - view up trunk
bark - of a medium tree or large branch
twig - orientation of petioles
leaf - whole upper surface
leaf - showing orientation on twig
inflorescence - whole - unspecified
inflorescence - whole - unspecified
inflorescence - whole - female
inflorescence - whole - female
inflorescence - whole - male
inflorescence - whole - male
inflorescence - whole - male
inflorescence - whole - male
inflorescence - lateral view of flower
fruit - lateral or general close-up
fruit - section or open
seed - general view 1993 =

Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds., 1993. Flora of North America North of Mexico. Flora of North America Association, New York, NY, US and Oxford, UK.

Metadata last modified: 2019-10-16T22:24:42.018-05:00
RDF formatted metadata for this organism