Shrubs , spreading, to 10 m. Bark dark reddish brown to bronze, smooth, close, not readily exfoliating; lenticels pale, horizontally expanded. Twigs without the odor or taste of wintergreen, glabrous to sparsely pubescent, covered with conspicuous, reddish, resinous glands. Leaf blade broadly ovate to rhombic-ovate with 2--6 pairs of lateral veins, 2--5.8 × 1--4.5 cm, base truncate to rounded or cuneate, margins sharply and coarsely serrate or irregularly doubly serrate, teeth mostly long and sharp, basal portion untoothed, apex acute to occasionally short-acuminate; surfaces abaxially sparsely to moderately pubescent, covered with minute, resinous glands. Infructescences erect to nearly pendulous, cylindric, 2--3(--3.9) × 0.8--1.5 cm, shattering with fruits in fall; scales glabrous, ciliate, lobes diverging at middle, central lobe narrower and longer than ascending lateral lobes. Samaras with wings broader than body, broadest near summit, extended beyond body apically. 2 n = 28.
|Water birch, river birch|