This species, considered by Schneider to be allied to B. grossa and B. globispica, was described by Franchet from a specimen collected by Père Farges in Hupeh, China. The leading characters appear to be: leaves ovate or ovate-elliptic, to 3[1/2] in. long and 1[3/8] in. wide, acuminate, rounded at the base, finely and regularly toothed, with twelve to fifteen pairs of veins; female catkins unusually large, sometimes over 2 in. long and [5/8] in. wide; bracts with narrow acute lobes, the lateral lobes ascending; seeds narrowly winged.
A birch found by Wilson in Hupeh and western Szechwan is thought to belong here. It is, as seen by him, a small tree with a bushy crown and a close, smooth, dark bark. Some of Wilson’s specimens have female catkins shorter and relatively broader than in the type.
Plants under the name B. insignis are now in cultivation.