Selected Plants of Navajo Rangelands

Take care of our Navajo Rangelands

Water birch
K’ishchíí
(a.k.a. Rocky Mountain birch)

Leaves are ovate with dentate margins. Twigs are reddish.

Water birch is native to western North America. It is an important species for streambank stabilization and wildlife habitat. It grows along streams and in wet canyon bottoms, where it is frequently found with cottonwoods, alders, willows, and other water-loving plants. This is a small tree distinguished by catkins hanging from its twigs in the spring and by its rough, reddish-brown bark patterned with small lines called lenticels. The leaves are dark green and glossy through the growing season. The leaves are ovate with dentate edges.

Close-up of trunk with reddish bark and a lenticular pattern of short white horizontal lines.

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