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Alnus incana (L.) Moench
Gray alder, Speckled alder
USDA Symbol: ALIN2
USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.
Speckled alder is a tall shrub or small tree, 20-35 ft. tall, with multiple, crooked, leggy trunks. Bent in a wide curve at their base, the trunks become upright and picturesque. Deciduous leaves are rounded and coarsely toothed, remaining dark-green in autumn. The flower is a purplish-red catkin and the fruit is a woody cone.
This is the common alder throughout the Rockies.
Bloom InformationBloom Time: Mar , Apr , May
AK , AZ , CA , CO , CT , IA , ID , IL , IN , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MT , ND , NH , NJ , NM , NV , NY , OH , OR , PA , RI , UT , VA , VT , WA , WI , WV , WY Canada: AB
, SK Native Distribution:
Lab. to AK, s. to NJ, mts. of WV, n.e. IL, n.e. IA, MN, n.e. ND & w. mts. to NM & c. CA Native Habitat:
Wetlands & stream edges USDA Native Status: L48(N), AK(N), CAN(N),
Growing ConditionsWater Use: High
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist , Wet
Soil pH: Circumneutral (pH 6.8-7.2)
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low
Soil Description: Wet soils.
Conditions Comments: Alnus rugosa and Alnus tenuifolia are usually considered subspecies. Fast-growing and flood tolerant, this species is short-lived, rarely exceeding 40 years. It can be thicket-forming and provides erosion control along watercourses in the mountains. Alders fix nitrogen and thus serve as nutrient-giving pioneers in reclamation projects.
BenefitUse Wildlife: Songbirds, waterbirds, and mammals frequently use this species.
Use Other: The Navajo Indians made a red dye from the powdered bark.
Interesting Foliage: yes
PropagationDescription: Seeds of most alders germinate when they are fresh without pretreatment.
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: If seeds have dried in storage, a cool-moist stratification at 41 degrees for 180 days will be necessary.
Commercially Avail: yes
Mr. Smarty Plants says
Alder native to Central Indiana
May 30, 2006
I am trying to find out whether there exists a plant named Alnus rugosa. I bought a plant recently that said Speckled Alder, Alnus serrulata (rugosa), but have been unable to determine if this is a c...
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From the National Organizations Directory
According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:
- Johnstown, PA
Recommended Species Lists
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Record Modified: 2012-06-30
Research By: TWC Staff