Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Betula pendula
European weeping birch

Distribution: Occurring chiefly west of the Cascades crest in Washington; southern British Columbia to Oregon; also in northeastern North America.

Habitat: Disturbed areas associated with urban and suburban development where the trees escape from cultivation.

Flowers: April-May

Origin: Introduced from Eurasia

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern

Pollination: Wind


Monoecious, deciduous trees to 25 m., trunks usually several, the crowns spreading; bark of mature trees creamy to silvery-white, smooth, peeling in long strips; lenticels dark; branches pendulous, twigs glabrous, dotted with small, resinous glands.


Leaf blades broadly ovate to rhombic, 3-7 cm. long and 2.5-5 cm. wide, the base wedge-shaped, the margins sharply double serrate, the tip acuminate, surfaces glabrous to sparsely pubescent.


Staminate catkins 3 per scale, pendulous; pistillate catkins 3 per scale, erect, cylindric, 2-3.5 cm. long, the scales 3-lobed, the lateral lobes broad and rounded, much longer that the central lobe.


Samaras with wings much broader than bodies, broadest in the center.

Accepted Name:
Betula pendula Roth
Publication: Tent. Fl. Germ. 1: 405. 1788.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Betula verrucosa Ehrh.
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Betula pendula in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Betula pendula checklist entry.

OregonFlora: Betula pendula information.

E-Flora BC: Betula pendula atlas page.

CalPhotos: Betula pendula photos.

USDA Plants: Betula pendula information.

21 photographs:
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