Native Plant Database

Header Photo: Mervin Wallace

River Birch

Betula nigra
Plant Type: Trees
Native Environment: Forest, Stream Edge
Season of Interest: Early (Feb - Apr), Mid (May - June), Winter (Nov - Mar)
Main Color: Green
Fall Color: Yellow
Hardy From Zone: 1
Hardy To Zone: 1

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Hardiness Zones

Midwest map of zones 5 (north), 6, and 7 (south)

as defined by the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map; (hardiness zones are not recorded for all Grow Native! plants)
Sun Exposure 
Full Sun
Soil
Moisture
Dry, Moderate, High
Nature Attracting
Wildlife Benefit
Butterfly / Moth Host, Nesting
Animal
Resistance
Size

Height:

40 to
70
feet

Spread:

40 to
60
feet
Size
Height: 40 to
70
feet
Spread: 40 to
60
feet
Size
Height: 40 to
70
feet
Spread: 40 to
60
feet
Typical Landscape Use
Plant as a specimen or in small groupings. Effective in lawns, woodlands and native plant gardens. Especially good for wet soils along ponds and streams and in low spots. This plant gets big so give it plenty of space.
Establishment and Care Instructions
Prefers moist fertile soil including semi-aquatic conditions, but also tolerates drier soils. Adapts well to heavy clay, tolerates poor drainage. Acidic soil, pH 6.5 or below, prevents leaf chlorosis.
Special Features
Interesting Bark
Special Usage
Rainscaping
Basic Description

A vigorous, fast-growing tree with beautiful, exfoliating, multi-colored bark. Can be grown as a single trunk tree or as a multi-stemmed plant. Catkins are beautiful in early spring (April). Fall leaf color is yellow.

Where Should I Start?

Check out the Grow Native! Committee’s Top Ten picks of native plants for a particular purpose.

What’s the Next Step?

Picked out your plants? View our Resource Guide of garden centers, seed sources, landscapers, education resources, and more!

Where Can I Find This Plant in Nature?

Learn about the Native Environment(s) inhabited by the plants in this database.

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