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Betula kenaica - W.H.Evans.

Common Name Kenai Birch
Family Betulaceae
USDA hardiness Coming soon
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Grows along the coast[11]. Rocky slopes in the subalpine zone from sea level to 300 metres[270].
Range North-western N. America - Alaska.
Edibility Rating    (3 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (1 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Betula kenaica Kenai Birch


Betula kenaica Kenai Birch

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of lolypop
Betula kenaica is a deciduous Tree growing to 12 m (39ft 4in) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 2. The species is monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and is pollinated by Wind.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in heavy clay and nutritionally poor soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Synonyms

B. papyrifera kenaica. (W.H.Evans.)Henry.

Habitats

Woodland Garden Canopy; Secondary;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Flowers;  Inner bark;  Leaves;  Sap.
Edible Uses: Condiment.

Young leaves and catkins - raw[172]. The buds and twigs are used as a flavouring in stews[172]. Inner bark - raw or cooked. Best in spring[172]. Inner bark can be dried and ground into a powder and then used as a thickener in soups etc or added to flour when making bread, biscuits etc. 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]. Sap - raw or cooked[172]. It can be used as a refreshing drink, or can be concentrated by boiling to make a syrup[K]. It is tapped in late winter, the flow is best on sunny days following a heavy frost. The sap can be fermented into a beer. An old English recipe for the beer is as follows:- "To every Gallon of Birch-water put a quart of Honey, well stirr'd together; then boil it almost an hour with a few Cloves, and a little Limon-peel, keeping it well scumm'd. When it is sufficiently boil'd, and become cold, add to it three or four Spoonfuls of good Ale to make it work...and when the Test begins to settle, bottle it up . . . it is gentle, and very harmless in operation within the body, and exceedingly sharpens the Appetite, being drunk ante pastum."[269].

Medicinal Uses



Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Antirheumatic;  Antiseborrheic;  Astringent;  Lithontripic;  Salve;  Sedative.

The bark is antirheumatic, astringent, lithontripic, salve and sedative[172].

Other Uses

Fuel;  Hair;  Kindling.

An infusion of the plant is used as a hair conditioner and dandruff treatment[172]. Wood - close-grained, light, strong, hard, tough[82]. It makes a good fuel[172], whilst the bark makes a good kindling[172].

Cultivation details

Succeeds in a well-drained loamy soil in a sunny position[11, 200]. Tolerates most soils including poor soils and heavy clays[200]. Fairly wind tolerant[200]. A fast-growing but short-lived species[200]. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus[50]. A good plant to grow near the compost heap, aiding the fermentation process[20]. This plant is closely related to B. papyrifera, and possibly no more than a sub-species of that species[11, 200]. Trees are notably susceptible to honey fungus[200].

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Propagation

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].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

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Author

W.H.Evans.

Botanical References

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