Family, Birch. Color of catkins, greenish. Leaves, oval or ovate, rounded or heart - shape at base, long-pointed at apex, evenly and finely toothed, smooth above, softly hairy beneath, thin, short-petioled. Petioles and new twigs sometimes bristly, with small glands interspersed between the hairs. Shrubs or small trees. March and April.
Staminate flowers in catkins at the ends of the old twigs (of the previous season), coming long before the leaves, 3 to 4 inches long, each flower consisting of 4 or more stamens and 2 bractlets, without calyx. Pistillate flowers, in clusters at the end of this season's branches, consisting of a calyx, a 2-celled ovary, a short style, and 2 stigmas. Underneath are 2 large bracts, which in fruit enlarge and cover the edible nut, growing beyond it, leaf-like, fringed, and torn around the edges. Shrub 4 to 8 feet high, leafy, branched.
In dry thickets, Maine to Florida and westward to Kansas.