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Alnus rhombifolia Nutt.
USDA Symbol: ALRH2
USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.
Medium-sized to large tree with tall, straight trunk and open, rounded crown; showy in winter with long, golden-colored male catkins hanging from slender, leafless twigs. In cultivation, this is a 10-30 ft. tree with a tall, straight trunk and ascending or spreading branches pendulous at the ends. The bark is white to grayish and broken into plates on old trunks. The dark-green, deciduous leaves are glossy, oval and doubly toothed. Catkins are 2-several per cluster, and cones are less than 1/2 in. long. White Alder, named for its pale green foliage, is the only alder native in southern California. Limited to permanent streams, it is a good indicator of water.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Tree Leaf Retention: Deciduous Leaf Arrangement: Alternate Leaf Complexity: Simple Leaf Venation: Pinnate Leaf Margin: Serrate Breeding System:
, Monoecious Size Notes:
Height 40-50 feet, spread to 40 feet. Leaf:
Dark green and glossy above. Fruit:
Cones less than an inch long. Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Green
Bloom Time: Sep , Oct , Nov
CA , ID , MT , NV , OR , WA Native Distribution:
Most of cismontane CA, n., on the e. side of the Cascades, to B.C. & c. ID Native Habitat:
Stream banks; mostly below 5000 ft. USDA Native Status: L48(N)
Growing ConditionsWater Use: High
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Wet
CaCO3 Tolerance: None
Soil Description: Moist to wet soils.
Conditions Comments: Fast-growing. Alders fix nitrogen and thus serve as nutrient-giving pioneers in reclamation projects.
Sometimes planted as an ornamental in wet sites. Use Food: Bark
used for tea. Use Medicinal:
Leaves used for fleas, burns, eyewash. Use Other:
Shoots used for arrows, roots for baskets. Bark
used to make red dye. Interesting Foliage:
PropagationPropagation Material: Seeds , Softwood Cuttings
Description: Propagated from freshly collected seeds released from the female conelets in fall.
Seed Treatment: If seeds have dried in storage, a cool-moist stratification at 41 degrees for 180 days will be necessary.
Commercially Avail: yes
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:
Santa Barbara Botanic Garden
- Santa Barbara, CANative Seed Network
- Corvallis, OR
Recommended Species Lists
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Record Modified: 2007-01-01
Research By: TWC Staff