Birch (Species, Betula sp.; Family, Fagaceae)
The main species planted across Canberra in gardens and parklands is the Silver Birch (Betula pendula), which is a medium-sized deciduous tree, typically growing up to 25 metres high. It is noted for its slender trunk, white bark, and beautiful yellow leaves in autumn. Its flowers are drooping catkins, which produce large amounts of wind-blow pollen between August and October.
In northern latitudes, birch is considered to be the most common allergenic tree pollen, with an estimated 15–20% of people with hay fever sensitive to birch pollen grains. Cross-reactivity between birch and certain foods is also a common phenomenon. People with birch pollen allergies may react to kiwi, apples, pears, peaches, plums, coriander, fennel, parsley, celery, cherries, carrots, hazelnuts and almonds.
Distribution of Birch (Atlas of Living Australia occurrence map)