Gray alder, Speckled alder
Betulaceae (Birch Family)
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.
Image Gallery: 1 photo(s) available
Bloom InformationBloom Time: Mar , Apr , May
, WY Canada: AB
, SK Native Distribution:
Lab. to AK,
s. to NJ,
mts. of WV,
n.e. IA, MN,
& w. mts. to NM
& c. CA Native Habitat:
Wetlands & stream edges
Growing ConditionsWater Use: High
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Wet , Moist
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