Birch

Betula pendula

Find this plant in Hortus Dijkspark.

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By Sten Porse - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=232158 -

Description

Betula pendula, or silver birch, is a deciduous tree - part of the betulaceae family. Birch trees tend to grow to around 20mx10m at a fast rate. They flower in april and are found in open woodlands and the heath. 

Birch bark is a diuretic and laxative. An oil extracted from the inner bark can be used externally to treat eczema and psoriasis. The sap can be boiled down into a sweet syrup. Mature birch trees can be tapped and give 4-7 liters of sap a day without incurring harm to the tree. This sap can also be fermented into a beer. An old english recipe for the libation reads as follows: To every Gallon of Birch-water put a quart of Honey, well stirr’d together, then boil it almost an hour with a few Cloves, and a little Limon-peel, keeping it well scumm’d. When it is sufficiently boil’d, and become cold, add to it three or four Spoonfuls of good Ale to make it work... and when the Test begins to settle, bottle it up ...