Betula alba Linn. Cupuliferae. Canoe Birch. Lady Birch. Paper Birch. White Birch.
Europe, northern Asia and North America. The bark, reduced to powder, is eaten by the inhabitants of Kamchatka, beaten up with the ova of the sturgeon, and the inner bark is ground into a meal and eaten in Lapland in times of dearth. Church says sawdust of birchwood is boiled, baked and then mixed with flour to form bread in Sweden and Norway. In Alaska, says Dall, the soft, new wood is cut fine and mingled with tobacco by the economical Indian. From the sap, a wine is made in Derbyshire, England, and, in 1814, the Russian soldiers near Hamburg intoxicated themselves with this fermented sap. The leaves are used in northern Europe as a substitute for tea, and the Indians of Maine make from the leaves of the American variety a tea which is relished. At certain seasons, the sap contains sugar. In Maine, the sap is sometimes collected in the spring and made into vinegar.
Betula lenta Linn. Black Birch. Cherry Birch. Mahogany Birch. Sweet Birch.
North America. The sap, in Maine, is occasionally converted into vinegar.
Betula nigra Linn. Red Birch. River Birch.
From Massachusetts to Virginia. The sap contains sugar in the spring, according to Henfrey.
Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World, 1919, was edited by U. P. Hedrick.