Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Plant Quiz Solved! Bog Birch (Betula pumila)

Congrats to Jim, Pete, and Dennis for correcting identifying this plant as bog birch (Betula pumila).  This photograph was taken in mid-May at Cedar Bog nature preserve in Champaign Co., Ohio.  Bog birch is a northern disjunct here in Ohio and survives in a select few fens and bogs in the state.  Due to its rarity it is considered a threatened species here in Ohio.  In fact, the population at Cedar Bog is one of the most southern stations for this plant in North America.  The latest period of glaciation brought this species south into Ohio when the environment and climate was more supportive of the birch and its northern associate plants.

Bog birch is also known as swamp birch and the smallest member of the birches native to Ohio.  It rarely grows taller than 10-15' and commonly forms shrubby thickets on the margins of fens, bogs, and wooded swamps.  Apart from the leaves the maturing fruit bodies on the shrub in the photograph should have helped in narrowing this down to a member of the Betulaceae family.

Thanks to those who played along and I look forward to posting more plant quizzes in the near future!

I've been getting back into the blogging mindset and attitude recently and while I'm organizing and writing I thought I'd throw in an appetizer-like plant quiz post in the mean time.  Check out the photograph below and see what you think and comment with your guesses and/or answers.  Best of luck!

Do you recognize this plant?


  1. My unconfident (incompetent?) guess is Betula pumila, Bog Birch, in the Betulaceae family. Love your blog!

  2. The gorgeous little shrub known as Betula pumila, swamp birch.

  3. I agree, I know it as Dwarf Birch.