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Betula

n.

genus of the birches, from Latin betula "birch," from Gaulish betu- "bitumen" (cf. Middle Irish beithe "box tree," Welsh bedwen "birch tree"). According to Pliny, so called because the Gauls extracted tar from birches. Birch tar is still sold as an analgesic and stimulant and made into birch beer by the Pennsylvania Dutch.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Examples from the Web for betula
Historical Examples
  • The nearest trees were betula papyracea and excelsa, and Populus tremuloides.

    The Maine Woods Henry David Thoreau
  • It has been compared with a European species of birch, the betula pendula.

    American Forest Trees Henry H. Gibson
  • betula nana occupies the drier situations, but creeps entirely upon the ground.

    Lachesis Lapponica Carl von Linn
  • betula papyracea (canoe birch), prevailing everywhere and about Bangor.

    The Maine Woods Henry David Thoreau
  • Indeed, some species never form a distinct heart-wood, birch (betula alba) being an example.

    Wood and Forest William Noyes
  • The common Birch (betula alba) is an exceedingly graceful tree.

    Botany for Ladies Jane Loudon
  • The sources from which powder charcoal is made are dogwood (Rhamnus frangula), willow (Salix alba), and alder (betula alnus).

  • In the immediate vicinity are found only betula lutea and betula pumila.

    Trees of Indiana Charles Clemon Deam
  • It was in this swamp that the writer found a peculiar form of birch which has been determined as betula Sandbergi.

    Trees of Indiana Charles Clemon Deam
  • It is assumed that this form is a cross between betula lutea and betula pumila.

    Trees of Indiana Charles Clemon Deam

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