Betula pendula 'Purpurea'
Common name: 
Purple European Birch
BET-u-la PEN-dew-la
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon: 
  • Small, deciduous tree, pendulous, purple-black twigs, bark less white than type.  Foliage deep reddish purple in spring, more bronze by summer, and bronze-green or even copper-orange in fall.  Leaves normal shape (i.e., broadly ovate, sometimes rhomboidal to diamond shaped, wedge-shaped or truncate at base, 2.5-7.5 cm long, coarsely doubly serrate).
  • Often lacks vigor and is a "borer magnet" (Dirr, 1998).  Apparently performs best in a cold climate.
  • Hardy to USDA Zone 2      Several purple-leafed clones have been developed from this selection or have originated anew (e.g., ‘Dark Prince’, ‘Purple Rain’).
  • Oregon State Univ. campus: east side of Wilkinson (planted 1971).
Click image to enlarge
  • plant habit, spring

    plant habit, spring

  • leaves, spring

    leaves, spring

  • leaves, comparison with species, May

    leaves, comparison with species, May

  • plant habit, summer

    plant habit, summer

  • leaves, comparison with species, Sept.

    leaves, comparison with species, Sept.