Common Name and Type Genus: Birch family, derived from the Betula genus
Distribution: Primarily temperate regions in the Northern Hemisphere
Family Size: Six genera and just over 200 species
Notable Genera: The most commercially significant genus is Betula (birch), from which the family gets its name. Other notable genera include Alnus (alder) and Carpinus (hornbeam).
Comments: The birch family contains a handful of genera, most of which bear cream-colored, fine-textured, diffuse porous wood of moderate to medium-high weight. In addition to the notable genera listed above, the family also contains hazel (Corylus) and hop-hornbeam (Ostrya), as well as the more obscure Ostryopsis, a small genus native to China.