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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Paper Birch - Betula papyrifera

Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S4
C-value: 3

Agency Status


External Links

General Description
Small, short-lived tree to 15 m tall with gray or brown bark when young but white and peeling when older. Twigs sparsely glandular and short-hairy. Leaf blades 4–7 cm long with sharp-dentate margins and tufts of light brown hair in axils of veins beneath. Female catkins 25–35 mm long. Fruit with wings as wide or wider than the nutlet (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Species Range
Montana Range Range Descriptions


Range Comments
Northwestern counties of MT plus Phillips, Powder River and Carter counties; AK to NL south to WA, CO, MN, PA and VA (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX; Furlow 1997 in Fl. N. Amer. Vol. 3).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 666

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density



(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)

Moist open forest, rocky lower slopes, along streams and lakes; valleys, montane, rarely plains (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

  • Literature Cited AboveLegend:   View Online Publication
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
    Do you know of a citation we're missing?
    • DuBois, K.L. 1979. An inventory of the avifauna in the Long Pines of Southeastern Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 113 p.
    • Fogelsong, M.L. 1974. Effects of fluorides on Peromyscus maniculatus in Glacier National Park. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, Montana: Montana State University. 52 p.
    • Little, E.L., Jr. 1979. Checklist of United States trees (native and naturalized). Agriculture Handbook No. 541. U.S. Forest Service, Washington, D.C. 375 pp.
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Citation for data on this website:
Paper Birch — Betula papyrifera.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from