Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Tall privacy hedge in Fort Worth, Texas
January 15, 2010 - I need a fast growing plant that reaches a height of 14 to 16 feet suitable as a privacy hedge. Prefer minimal maintenance and disease resistant. I have a 3 story condo being built behind my home in...
view the full question and answer

Questions about Catalpa bignonioides
February 21, 2016 - We have a yard that is about 3/4 of an acre, and we have gotten rid of about 3/4 of the lawn and replaced it with native plantings. I am looking for a native tree to replace a tree that we had to rem...
view the full question and answer

Will Prunus caroliniana (Carolina laurelcherry) be toxic to chickens?
July 25, 2010 - We are considering planting Carolina Cherry Laurels around our yard for dense hedging purposes. We are concerned because we have a small flock of free-ranging chickens who eat every seed and leaf in ...
view the full question and answer

Mexicana Redbud failing to bloom in Austin
April 12, 2010 - I have a Mexican Redbud that I bought last fall. It is now April (I'm in Austin), and the leaves have emerged, but the tree did not flower. So . . . what should I do to get it to flower? (The tree i...
view the full question and answer

Texas persimmon with scorched leaves from Austin
July 11, 2013 - I planted a Texas Persimmon seedling (five gallon) in my yard in early April. It is in a sunny, well-drained spot, and I have watered it regularly since planting. All was fine until the last weekend i...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.