Betula glandulosa Michx.
Tundra Dwarf Birch
Habitat: Acidic rocky barrens, crests and summits. [Alpine or subalpine (non-forested, upland)]
Range: Arctic regions, south to the alpine areas of northern New England and New York.
Aids to Identification: This shrub grows prostrate where exposed, or erect (up to 2 meters) where protected. It has close brown bark, as opposed to the bark of many other birch species which is separable into layers. The roundly-toothed leaves are small, ranging from 1-3 cm in length. It can be distinguished from Swamp birch (B. pumila) by the presence of conspicious resin-glands on the twigs and young leaves.
Ecological characteristics: In Maine, this species is only known to occur on Mount Katahdin.
Phenology: Flowers June - August.
Synonyms: Sometimes referred to as Betula nana L., but B. glandulosa more correctly applies to our species.
Known Distribution in Maine: This rare plant has been documented from a total of 1 town(s) in the following county(ies): Piscataquis.
Dates of documented observations are: 1847, 1980, 1989, 1994, 2000
Reason(s) for rarity: Disjunct from principal range.
Conservation considerations: Populations could be threatened by heavy recreational (hiking) use.