Betula utilis 'Jim Russell'

Originated from seeds collected in China by Jim Russell (former curator of the Castle Howard Arboretum, today known as Yorkshire Arboretum, in York, United Kingdom). This birch was selected and named for its remarkable peeling outer bark showing the underlying copper brown to purple inner layers. The new twigs and petioles are very hairy. In Asia, the bark of Betula utilis was used for a long time as writing paper. The pigment of dark-tinted variants has also been extracted. In remote villages in the Himalayas, the bark is still gathered for the production of umbrellas and packing material, and for medicinal use because of its anti-inflammatory qualities.

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