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Several paper birches
Paper Birch

Betulaceae papyrifera


Found: in rich, moist woods, near streams and lake banks

Height: 15-21 meters (50-70 feet)

Leaves: generally oval shaped with tapering tips. The leaves are doubly serrated and are dark green and shiny above and yellowish underneath.

Bark: The paper birch has a very characteristic white, peeling bark.

Uses: A compound found in all birches, betulinic acid, is being investigated as a potential anti-cancer drug. It also has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Betulin, a compound contained in birch bark, also has anti-inflamatory and antiviral activity.

The characteristic bark