oval to ovoid to heart-shaped, bright green, 10 - 15 cm
catkins, X 5 - 7 cm in clusters of 2 to 4, Y 8 - 12 cm in clusters of 3 to 4
fruiting catkins to 7 cm
solitary, park tree
all, except clay
Central and North Japan
In its original habitat it is a tree of up to 30 m. Rapidly growing with a half open, loose regular-shaped crown. In cultivation circa 20 m, often multiple-stemmed with heavy main branches. The width of the crown is 8 - 10 m. The bark of the trunk and the heavy main branches colour strikingly shiny orange brown at first and have wide lenticels. Later turning to greyish off-white and flaking in paper thin strips. Young twigs are brown red. The leaves are fairly big for a birch and they are heart-shaped. The leaf margin is toothed irregularly, the leaf top is acuminate and the leaf base is heart-shaped. A striking feature is the butter yellow autumn colour. The inflorescence only appears in spring during the sprouting of the leaves. Male catkins are conspicuously long. Shallow rooting with a delicate root system. Sensitive to salt.