Plant Feature: River Birch Betula nigra

Plant Feature: River Birch Betula nigra

Also known as: Black Birch, Red Birch and Water Birch

This month, we’re highlighting the River Birch trees that we have planted at the Low Line Gardens. River Birch trees are native to the East Coast, making them more likely to succeed in our green spaces. Naturally, they’re found close to river beds and flood plains – but they can adapt to other environments as well. Young River Birch trees have eye-catching peeling bark, and they provide visible interest year-round (be sure to visit them in the fall when their foliage turns a beautiful bright gold.)

River Birch trees are valuable to a variety of wildlife. They support the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail during migration, serve as a host plant for mourning cloak and dreamy dusky wing butterflies, and support a variety of silk moths. Deers munch on new growth, and they provides seeds for a variety of birds. They really are a power house.

Come on down to the Low Line Gardens to see them for yourself – they’re easily identified by their unique bark. Bonus points if you pause and stay for a while to take in all that nature has to offer.


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