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Shrub Species of the Birch (Betula) Genus

Picture of a Birch Shrub
Betula pumila
Swamp or Bog Birch Shrub (Betula pumila)

The species of Birch (Betula) shown on this page are those that grow as a Shrub form. Within the Birch genus there is a Subgenus Chamaebetula - Dwarf birches.  Most Birches grow as Trees and people generally think of Birch Trees.
As we are focusing on shrubs, only Birch Shrubs will be listed here. For a list of Birch Trees, including shrub growth habits as well as tree growth habits, see

Many of these Birches are referred to as a Dwarf Birch, as they are smaller in height, overall size and biomass than other Birches that grow as trees.
The Birch Shrubs listed below are given the classification of Shrubs, as they have a multi-stemmed shrub growth habit. They typically grow to 1-3 m tall. The main stems are smaller in diameter at maturity, rarely over 5-10 cm. The Shrub growth habit of these species of Birch also tends to lead them into forming dense thickets in their natural habitat, just as other shrubs do.

Birch Shrubs For the landscape;
As large shrubs, these birches are intriguing and appealing in the landscape or garden, as people recognize them as a Birch, however the interest is generated when they see how different their growth habit is than that of a tree, but rather one of a shrub or a bush. Some Birch shrubs can also be grown in bogs, or in a water garden with consistently wet / moist soil, see Betula nana.

Facts about the Betula Genus of Shrubs
  • Genus Scientific Name = Betula, Subgenus Chamaebetula, (Dwarf Birches)
  • Genus Common Names = Dwarf Birch, Shrub Birch, Bog Birch, Resin Birch, Swamp Birch, American Dwarf Birch.
  • Number of Taxa in Genus Betula Subgenus Chamaebetula = 16

List of Birch Shrubs, Genus Betula, Subgenus Chamaebetula - All known species, taxa on Earth, organized by scientific Latin botanical name first and common names second.

Botanical, Latin or Scientific Shrub Name Common Shrub Name Coldest Zone Warmest Zone
Betula fruticosa ? ? ?
Betula glandulosa Resin Birch, American Dwarf Birch 1 9
Betula hallii Cascades Dwarf Birch ? ?
Betula humilis Arctic Dwarf Birch, Low Birch ? ?
Betula michauxii Newfoundland Dwarf Birch ? ?
Betula microphylla ? ? ?
Betula middendorffii ? ? ?
Betula minor Quebec Dwarf Birch ? ?
Betula nana Dwarf Birch 1 7
Betula nana sub-species. nana Dwarf Birch ? ?
Betula nana sub-species. exilis Dwarf Birch ? ?
Betula pumila Bog Birch 2 9
Betula pumila var. glabra Bog Birch 2 9
Betula pumila var. glandulifera Swamp Birch 2 9
Betula pumila var. pumila Bog Birch 2 9
Betula pumila var. renifolia Bog Birch 2 9

Readers should be aware that many of the common names of these shrub Birches are crossed over between species, for example; depending on the local common name for each species, Dwarf Birch applies to both Betula glandulosa, Betula nana and Betula pumila. This is also true for the common names of Swamp Birch and Bog Birch. So when ordering this species be sure to use the Latin Scientific Botanical name.



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