Name: Silver Birch

Scientific name: Betula pendula

Irish name: Beith gheal

Provence: Native

Family: Betulaceae

Leaf/Needle: Deciduous leaf/Simple leaf

Growth: Fast

Height: 30 meters

Size: Medium

Flowering: April to May

Pollination: Wind

Seed dispersal: Wind

Value to wildlife: High

Timber use:
Firewood, brooms. Birch was the favoured stick for corporal punishment!

Mythology:
In anger St Patrick through a hand bell into a bush, a birch tree grew there lifting the bell. After being found again the bell was called the Bethachán or Betullanum- “the little birch of iron”.

Ogham Alphabet:
Ogham letter Beith (Birch) B
1st consonant of the Ogham alphabet
3rd month of the Ogham tree calendar

Classification in Early Irish law:
Aithig fedo (Commoner of the wood) Penalty for cutting one down, one milk cow!