(Betula alnoides)

B. acuminata.
Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Betula alnoides

The thin layer of outer bark is used as a paper[61].

The juice of the bark is used for decorating wood[272].

Wood – moderately hard, close grained, strong, durable[146, 158]. Used for minor construction[272].

  • Medicinal Use

    The plant has been used as an antidote in the treatment of snake bites[240, 243].

    A decoction of the bark is used to treat dislocated bones[272].

  • Edible Use

    Inner bark – can be dried, then ground into a powder and added to flour for use in making bread, cakes etc[177]. Inner bark is generally only seen as a famine food, used when other forms of starch are not available or are in short supply[K].

  • Cautionary Notes

    None known

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a light position in a cold frame[78, 80, 113, 134]. Only just cover the seed and place the pot in a sunny position[78, 80, 134]. Spring sown seed should be surface sown in a sunny position in a cold frame[113, 134]. If the germination is poor, raising the temperature by covering the seed with glass can help[134]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a cold frame for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. If you have sufficient seed, it can be sown in an outdoor seedbed, either as soon as it is ripe or in the early spring – do not cover the spring sown seed. Grow the plants on in the seedbed for 2 years before planting them out into their permanent positions in the winter[78, 80, 113, 134].
Succeeds in a well-drained loamy soil in a sheltered position[11, 200]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Dislikes wet soils[200]. Shade tolerant[200]. This species is not very hardy and does not always succeed outdoors in Britain but some provenances should be hardy[11]. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus[50]. Trees are notably susceptible to honey fungus[200].
E. Asia – Himalayas to S.W. China.

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.