En Español

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
1 rating

Tuesday - May 30, 2006

From: Fishers, IN
Region: Midwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Alder native to Central Indiana
Answered by: Dean Garrett

QUESTION:

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 correct Latin name. I wanted one that is native to central Indiana.

ANSWER:

The Integrated Taxonomic Information System indicates that Alnus rugosa is an unaccepted synonym for Alnus incana ssp. rugosa, known as Speckled Alder, Swamp Alder, or Tag Alder. This alder is considered a northeastern, boreal plant and its native range extends only into about the top fourth of Indiana, according to the Flora of North America distribution map.

Alnus serrulata, known as Smooth Alder, Hazel Alder, Brookside Alder, or (confusingly) Tag Alder, has a southeastern distribution and only extends into about the southern fourth of Indiana.

Those appear to be the only alders native to Indiana, leaving the center of the state devoid of natives of that genus. To be true to the natural composition of the region, you might consider alternate trees or shrubs. The Indiana Native Plant and Wildflower Society can assist with learning about other native woody plants to use. If you do decide to plant one of the state's two alders in central Indiana, I would choose the alder whose range is closest to where you want to plant and make sure it's placed in a suitable site.
 

More Trees Questions

Something dripping from red oak in Austin
July 30, 2012 - There is a large red oak outside my apartment. The leaves are shiny and covered with what appears to be oil. The ground underneath is coated with this also. When I parked under the tree my car beca...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen shrub for hedge in pasture in California
August 15, 2012 - I am looking at putting in a hedge along a pasture between my neighbor and me. I was considering a podacarpus plant about every 4' for 100'. is this a fast growing, full thickness, tall evergreen bu...
view the full question and answer

Shade tolerant plants for Waynesville MO
April 09, 2013 - We moved to Waynesville, MO (gardening region 6) and when we bought our house there was a nice looking gardening area in front of the house. It is shaded moderately by a Redwood Tree and was "occupie...
view the full question and answer

Death of mature tulip tree in Raymond IL
June 06, 2010 - We have a mature tulip tree that leafed out and looked very healthy then all of the leaves turned brown and fell off. I think the tree is now dead. We live in the country and have a corn field behind ...
view the full question and answer

Leaves dropping on native Texas Mountain Laurel in San Antonio
September 20, 2008 - Please help. We have a beautiful TX Mountain Laurel in our front yard. This year the leaves are dropping like snow in the north. What do you think is wrong with our tree?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center