Betula papyrifera
family: Birch (Betulaceae)
véškeē'e, véškee'éhoohtsėstse ? (Glenmore and Leman 1984: 200)
Paper birch (American white birch) is fast-growing foliose tree with widely conical top, growing up to 30 m. Creamy white bark with dark lenticels flakes in fine strips. Young ross is orange-brown or pale pink. Leaves are ovate, serrate, coming to a point, 5 to 12 cm long and 4 to 9 cm wide. They turn yellow to orange in autumn. The female flowers are green, the male flowers are yellow. They occur separately on each tree. Fruits are one-winged brown achenes rippening in catkins. Paper birch grows in sunny places on permeable, moister soils. It ranges in wide belt from southern Alaska, British Columbia, and Washington to New Foundland and New England; also in the Powder River County in Montana, the Black Hills area, southeast Wyoming, and the Front Range Mountains in Colorado.
Before Cheyennes came on the Great Plains from the woodland area, they used birch bark to made containers. Grinnell (1923 II: 245) supposes that the birch bark containers are the ancestors of rawhide parfleches which Cheyennes manufactured on the Plains later. A number of birch species gave the bark to the Native American groups but the paper birch bark was by far the most used (Moerman 1998: 122–5; Densmore 1928: 377).
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