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biodiversity explorer

the web of life in southern Africa

Family: Betulaceae (birches)

Life > eukaryotes > Archaeoplastida > Chloroplastida > Charophyta > Streptophytina > Plantae (land plants) > Tracheophyta (vascular plants) > Euphyllophyta > Lignophyta (woody plants) > Spermatophyta (seed plants) > Angiospermae (flowering plants) > Eudicotyledons > Core Eudicots > Rosids > Eurosid I > Order: Fagales

Six genera and 145 species (Northern Hemisphere and the Andes in South America), of which five genera and 23 species have been cultivated in southern Africa, mainly as garden trees. 

Genera cultivated in southern Africa

List from Glen (2002).

Alnus (alders)

About 35 species (north temperate regions, SE Asia, Andes); no species native to southern Africa but seven species are cultivated in the region.


Betula (birches)

About 60 species, native to the Northern Hemisphere. Eleven species have been recorded as being cultivated in southern Africa.



Common Hornbeam Carpinus betulus, and Oriental Hornbeam Carpinus orientalis have been cultivated in southern Africa.


Corylus (Hazel genus)

The Hazel Corylus avellana (cultivated for hazelnuts) and the Filbert Corylus maxima are cultivated in southern Africa.


A single species, Ostrya carpinifolia (Hop-hornbeam), has been cultivated in southern Africa. 




  • Glen, H.F. 2002. Cultivated Plants of Southern Africa. Jacana, Johannesburg.