Betula murrayana

Common Names:
Murray birch, Murrays birch, Murrays birch
Barnes & Dancik
Growth Habit:
CPC Number:
Profile Contributors:
Dawn M. Gerlica and Lindsey Parsons
Fully Sponsored

Reference Links

ITIS - Tropicos - USDA Plants - Fish & WildLife

Participating Institutions

The following Participating Institutions are custodians for this species in the CPC National Collection:
The Holden Arboretum

The conservation of Betula murrayana is fully sponsored.
Dawn M. Gerlica and Lindsey Parsons contributed to this Plant Profile.


This species is an unusual natural hybrid of an already naturally hybridized species, purpus birch, Betula x purpusii, crossed with another native species, yellow birch, Betula allegheniensis. It can be described as a small tree or a tall shrub, ranging from 4-15m tall. The tree is 5-20cm in diameter at breast height. The prominent lenticels are horizontally elongated in the bark. The flowers appear in April and May before the leaves and the fruit ripens in autumn.

Many characteristics distinguish this species from its relatives. The first visible feature is the non-exfoliating, shiny, smooth, dark reddish bark, which peels similar to the yellow birch. The leaves are larger and broader than those of its parents, but are shaped similar to the purpus birch. The pollen is less visible, but different in that the grains are, on average, larger than either parent and are highly viable, similar only to yellow birch. Invisible to the naked eye, one of the biggest differences is that the Murray birch has many more chromosomes than either parent.

Distribution & Occurrence


Conservation, Ecology & Research