Ancient Latin name.
Deciduous trees. Branches low and dense, forming a shrubby habit. Bark smooth or scaly, grey. Buds long pointed. Leaves alternate, in 2 rows, margins toothed. Flowers unisexual, appearing in spring. Male catkins pendulous on short shoots, perianth parts absent, stamens 4-12, filaments split almost to base. Female flowers in terminal catkins, perianth with 6 teeth. Ovary 2-celled. Fruit a 1-seeded, ribbed nut, each nut having a large 3-lobed leafy bract.
C. japonica Blume has leaves with 20-25 vein pairs and fruit bracts that are relatively short-toothed. C. laxiflora (Siebold & Zucc.) Blume from China and Japan has fruit bracts less than 2 cm long with the central lobe toothed on one side only.
Seed; clones or rare plants can be grafted on to C. betulus.
Nuts in long clusters, each with 3-lobed leafy bracts.
About 41 species from north temperate regions, mostly E Asia and N America.
Rushforth (1986, 1987), Wright (1986), Furlow (1987).
Source: (1997). Betulaceae. In: . Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 2. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 1. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.