Mant. Pl., 124. 1767
Phenology: Flowering late spring.
Habitat: Bogs, calcareous fens, wooded swamps, muskegs, lake shores
Elevation: 0–700 m
St. Pierre and Miquelon, Alta., B.C., Man., N.B., Nfld., N.W.T., N.S., Ont., P.E.I., Que., Sask., Yukon, Calif., Colo., Conn., Idaho, Ill., Ind., Iowa, Kans., Maine, Mass., Mich., Minn., Mont., Nebr., N.J., N.Y., N.Dak., Ohio, Oreg., Pa., S.Dak., Vt., Wash., Wis., Wyo.
Betula pumila is sometimes treated (in part) as a variety of B. glandulosa Michaux, to which it is related at a subgeneric or sectional level. On the basis of morphology, however, it forms a cohesive and distinct entity (J. J. Furlow 1984). The two main varieties into which B. pumila is often divided (a more southern B. pumila var. pumila, with mostly pubescent, glandless leaves, and a more northern B. pumila var. glandulifera, with less pubescent, gland-bearing leaves) may represent geographic races; these are not well marked, however, and they do not hold up well when the complex is examined as a whole.
The Ojibwa used Betula pumila medicinally as a gynecological aid and as a respiratory aid (D. E. Moerman 1986).