A tree up to 20 m tall, with white bark (young trees — a reddish-brown), and stretched up or facing branches, annual shoots pubescent. The leaves are ovate or rhombic-ovate, rounded at the base and tapered at the top, lubchatye, young leaves pubescent. Blooms in April and May, before the deployment of leaflets. Seeds ripen in late August and September.
Is widespread in Europe (including European Russia), in the Caucasus and Siberia.
It grows in damp places and relatively well tolerated with stagnant moisture, usually on the margins of swamps and bogs, on moist banks of various water bodies, as well as all the relatively infertile, but quite humid areas, especially runaway forest or arable land. Regularly, like other types of birch trees, fruits, producing a large mass of light winged seeds carried by wind over long distances and all that inhabit the location.
The wood is valued for furniture production for the beauty of drawing and ease of processing. For the production of plywood finishing particularly interesting called burls — nodules on the trunk with annual rings, which form a variety of patterns. Many applications, especially in the north, has a birch bark: it is used for the manufacture of various small items, as well as light shuttles, used as a roofing material. The ancient Slavs used the bark as writing material.