What is the plant
Birch with small leaves from the mountains in West China found at heights of up to 4 km. In spite of the slow growth specimen of over 10 m can be found there. The wide pyramidal crown has many thin, soft, weeping twigs with a red brown colour, width circa 6 m. The bark has an orange to orange brown colour and already flakes at an early age. The dark green leaf is bare on the topside, the underside is glandular haired. It is ovoid and acuminate. The leaf margin is double-toothed. Betula albosinensis opens early in spring and the leaf turns golden yellow in autumn. The green yellow flowers appear in pendulous catkins in April. B. albosinensis roots shallow with a fine branching root system and has many fibrous rootlets.
Betula albosinensis, the Chinese red birch, syn. B. bhojpattra var. sinensis, B. utilis var. sinensis, is a species of birch in the family Betulaceae, native to Western China. It is a deciduous tree growing to 25 metres (82 ft). A particular feature is the peeling brown bark (cream when newly exposed). In fact the Latin specific name albosinensis means "white, from China". Brown catkins are produced in Spring.
Betula albosinensis is grown as an ornamental tree for parks and large gardens, and numerous cultivars have been produced. The cultivars 'China Rose', 'Fascination' and 'Red Panda' have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.
Deciduous tree, 40-60(80) ft [12-18(24) m], rounded habit. Leaves alternate, simple, ovate to ovate-oblong, 5-7.5 cm long, about 3 cm wide, margin doubly serrate or occasionally even slightly lobed, base rounded or subcordate, apex acuminate, dark green above, paler and glandular below, 10-14 vein pairs; petiole 7-20 mm long; foliage yellow in fall. Bark rich orange-red or orange-brown, peels off in very thin sheets, under layer coated with a white bloom.
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