D23: Himalayan Birch, Betula utilis

Betula utilis is a native of the Western Himalayas and collected by Nathanial Wallich in 1820 and introduced in 1849. It usually has shining white bark and almost leathery green leaves, but in some varieties the bark peels to reveal orange, copper or chocolate under bark. In the Himalayas it can form forests and grow to 20 m. In India particularly Kashmir the bark was used for writing and is still used for writing mantras. The bark is also used for packaging butter, making umbrella covers, bandages etc.The sanskrit word is “ bhurja”, भूर्ज,

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