Himalayan Birch
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Himalayan Birch
D Native Photo: Ashutosh Sharma
Common name: Himalayan Birch • Hindi: भोजपत्र Bhojpatra • Nepali: लेख पैयु Lekh paiyu • Sanskrit: भोजपत्र Bhojpatra • Mizo: Hriang-zau
Botanical name: Betula alnoides    Family: Betulaceae (Birch family)
Synonyms: Betula affinis, Betula nitida

Himalayan Birch is a tree 30 m tall with white-hairy branches. It has 1.5-3 cm long leaf-stalks and has a 2.5-5.5 cm long leaf blade that is lanceshaped, ovate, papery, and even elliptic. The female inflorescences are a drooping and cylindric raceme, that, by the time it matures, reaches a diameter of 5-10 cm by 4-6 mm. The flower-cluster-stalk is 2-3 mm long while the diameter of the bracts is only 3 mm. The seeds are ripe from March to May and are 1.5-2 mm long. Himalayan Birch is found in the Himalayas, from Kumaun to Bhutan, Assam, S. Tibet, W. & C. China, at altitudes of 1200-2600 m. Flowering: October-January.

Identification credit: Ashutosh Sharma Photographed in Kullu District, Himachal Pradesh.

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