Smooth alder, Hazel alder, Brookside alder, Tag alder, Common alder, Black alder
Betulaceae (Birch Family)
A multiple-trunked, suckering shrub,
12-20 ft. tall, with a picturesque habit and shiny gray-brown bark. Summer foliage is dark green and glossy, becoming yellow, tinged with red, in fall. Flowers are purple catkins; males in drooping clusters, females in upright clusters. The fruit
resembles a small, woody cone and persists through Feb. Sometimes a small tree,
commonly found at edge of water.
The only alder native
in southeastern United States, where it is common and widespread, forming thickets.
Image Gallery: 4 photo(s) available
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Red , Green , Brown
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr
Bloom Notes: Males green-brown, female reddish.
, DC Canada: NB
, QC Native Distribution:
to e. TX,
n. to s.w. N.S. (locally), c. ME,
c. VT, OH,
& s.e. MO Native Habitat:
Stream banks; bogs; swamp borders; wet meadows
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, fine sandy loams, peats & mucks.
Conditions Comments: Physiological problems are rare, however the wood is weak and breakage is common. Very flood tolerant. Alders fix nitrogen and thus serve as nutrient-giving pioneers in reclamation projects.
BenefitUse Wildlife: An intermediate source of food for wildlife.