dwarf birch
Masebrock, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
dwarf birch
Ryan Hodnett, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
dwarf birch fall leaves
© John D Reynolds, some rights reserved (CC-BY-NC)


Dwarf birch is a Bushy shrub native to North America. It hybridizes readily with other birch trees and often forms colonies, usually under 5 feet in height. It can be found in swamps, bogs, peatlands, and stream borders; generally prefers moist to wet calcareous areas.

Young growth is variable, ranging from glabrous to pubescent, with or without warty glands. Leaves are stiff, thick, and leathery. The shape is elliptic to widely ovate and coarsely toothed. Catkins bloom in late spring where male catkins hang and female ones are erect. The bark is smooth and dark reddish brown with pale lenticels.


E-Flora BC. (n.d.). Betula pumila L. Retrieved from http://linnet.geog.ubc.ca/Atlas/Atlas.aspx?sciname=Betula+pumila

MICHIGAN FLORA ONLINE. A. A. Reznicek, E. G. Voss, & B. S. Walters. February 2011. University of Michigan. Web. November 13, 2020. https://michiganflora.net/species.aspx?id=554.

Natural Resources Conservation Service. (n.d.). Betula pumila L. Retrieved fromhttps://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=BEPU4

Wisconsin State Herbarium. (n.d.). Betula pumila. Retrieved from http://wisflora.herbarium.wisc.edu/taxa/index.php?taxon=2741

Growing From Seed

Growing from seed is one of the most economical and satisfying ways to build a native plant garden. The table shows brief planting instructions, including how long and what kind of stratification this plant needs. For further information on stratification and seed preparation please refer to our article: Preparing To Grow Wild Plant Seeds

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Growing From Plants

Seedlings are a more economical option than established plants and an easier start than growing from seed. Our plants are shipped in soil blocks or plug trays. Plants do surprizingly well in the mail but need special care upon arrival. Please see Planting Mail Order Seedlings for information on how to plant and care for seedlings.


We currently ship within the provinces of British Columbia and Alberta, and it usually takes 2-5 business days in the mail once shipped. Seeds ship year-round. Plants are generally available from May to September and can be reserved during off season; Shipping costs are calculated during checkout. Seed orders over $100 ship free! See Shipping for more details.