Usually found in moist well-drained soils in rich woodland environments.
The primary range of river birch is the southeastern quarter of the United States from eastern Texas and southeastern Iowa to Virginia and northern Florida.
This tree prefers full or partial sun and moist conditions. It tolerates various kinds of soil, including those containing loam, clay, gravel, and silt. A very acid soil is tolerated surprisingly well, while very alkaline soil (pH above 7) should be avoided. In comparison to the white-trunked members of the birch family (Betulaceae), the river birch has long been ignored, though it is a graceful tree, with a warm red bark that exfoliates to pink-white. It is also adaptable to both flood and drought and is more disease-resistant and heat tolerant than any other birch.
Nigra is in reference to the dark stems of new growth.
Not widely available. Flemings has a couple of cultivars. Yamina, Maple Grove and Logans are showing it on there current list.