Betulaceae (Birch family)
The Garden holds a good collection of birches from around the world. Birches are beautiful throughout the year, but winter is the best time to appreciate their beautiful barks, ranging from the chalky white of the White Himalayan Birch, Betula utilis var jacquemontii, to the beautiful soft tones of the Chinese Red Birch, Betula albosinensis, and the fraying, brown, scaly bark of the River Birch, Betula nigra.
At the eastern end of the renowned Winter Garden, a special selection of the Chinese Red Birch, Betula albosinensis var septentrionalis is grown as a tri-stemmed specimen. The bark is irresistible to the touch and generations of visitors have polished it to a shimmering smooth surface of rosy pink, pearly grey and warm apricot.