Birch • Betula
Trees & Shrubs
Conditions: Allergic rhinitis; conjunctivitis; asthma.
Symptoms: Runny nose and/or congestion; itchy, watery eyes; coughing; wheezing; sore throat.
Physical description: Can grow 60-100 feet tall; produces drooping male catkins, upright female catkins, and small, woody cones; wind-pollinated; resinous, scaly bark that typically peels off in sheets.
Environmental factors: Quick-growing; all species are wind-pollinated and flower in relatively short, seven-day periods; prefer native climates; mostly found in areas with moist, sandy, and loamy soil.
Cross-reactivity: Alder, aspen, beech, elm, hazel, oak trees; several fruits and nuts, including apples, almonds, carrots, oranges, hazelnuts, peaches, pears, and plums.
Included species: Gray birch, swamp birch, yellow birch, paper birch, and more.
1. “Birch.”Merriam-Webster. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/birch
2. “Plant cross-reactivity and its fallout for allergy sufferers.” Foods Matter. https://www.foodsmatter.com/allergy_intolerance/causes-allergy/articles/ plant-cross-reactivity-and-allergy-01-16.html
3. “Birch.”Pollen.com. https://www.pollen.com/research/genus/betula
4. “Birch.”Britannica.com. https://www.britannica.com/plant/birch
Did You Know?
Birch trees have been reported to rank second to oak trees among causes of hay fever in the United States.