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Betula glandulosa Michx.

Tundra Dwarf Birch

Habitat: Acidic rocky barrens, crests and summits. [Alpine or subalpine (non-forested, upland)]

Range: Arctic regions, south to the alpine areas of northern New England and New York.

Aids to Identification: This shrub grows prostrate where exposed, or erect (up to 2 meters) where protected. It has close brown bark, as opposed to the bark of many other birch species which is separable into layers. The roundly-toothed leaves are small, ranging from 1-3 cm in length. It can be distinguished from Swamp birch (B. pumila) by the presence of conspicious resin-glands on the twigs and young leaves.

Ecological characteristics: In Maine, this species is only known to occur on Mount Katahdin.

Phenology: Flowers June - August.

Family: Betulaceae

Synonyms: Sometimes referred to as Betula nana L., but B. glandulosa more correctly applies to our species.

Known Distribution in Maine: This rare plant has been documented from a total of 1 town(s) in the following county(ies): Piscataquis.

Dates of documented observations are: 1847, 1980, 1989, 1994, 2000

Reason(s) for rarity: Disjunct from principal range.

Conservation considerations: Populations could be threatened by heavy recreational (hiking) use.