What’s in Bloom?


A winter walk reveals the beauty of tree bark, and no tree is more stunning than the white birch with its eye-shaped knots lined in black against a pale, silvery background. Admire the clump of white birches at the entrance to the woodland garden, and as you walk along the footpath, notice how the birch trees enhance the winter landscape. The bark of all birches is marked with long, horizontal lenticels, and often separates into thin, papery plates. The common names:  gray, white, black, silver and yellow, reflects the common names of birch species. In the Katharine Hepburn Garden, you will also find the river birch (betula nigra), which can be recognized by its brown, peeling bark. During the growing season, birch foliage is used as a food plant by the larvae of a large number of lepidopteran (butterflies and moths) species.