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I have been interested in nature for most of my life but since I retired I spend as much time as I can exploring the nature reserves and wildlife hotspots of my adopted home, Dorset in southern England. Whilst out I record what I see and take snaps where I can (I am no photographer!) and that forms the basis of my Nature of Dorset website. When I find something new I like to research it and write about it in my nature notes, it is how I learn and hopefully you might find my notes helpful as well!

This website is for the people of Dorset interested in wildlife and for people from elsewhere interested in the wildlife of Dorset!

11 May, 2010

Silver Birch (Betula pendula)

Many of us are familiar with catkins but we usually think of the Hazel catkins, or Lamb's Tails, we see earlier in the year.

In fact several trees produce catkins as flowers and the Silver Birch is certainly one. Not quite the same as Hazel of course but nonetheless catkins is what they are.

Like Hazel, the Silver Birch flowers before the leaves come but flowers much later in the year. Silver Birch are in flower now, April and May whereas Hazel catkins were out as early as January and all over by the end of March.

As the Silver Birch flowers die off so the lovely fresh green leaves appear and there are very few prettier trees that a Silver Birch freshly dressed in delicate green.