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Alnus rubra Bong.
Red alder, Western alder
Synonym(s): Alnus oregona, Alnus oregona var. pinnatisecta
USDA Symbol: ALRU2
Graceful tree with straight trunk, pointed or rounded crown, and mottled, light gray to whitish, smooth bark. Alder roots, like those of legumes, often have swellings or root nodules containing nitrogen-fixing bacteria, which enrich the soil by converting nitrogen from the air into chemicals like fertilizers that the plants can use. The common name describes the reddish-brown inner bark and heartwood.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Tree Leaf Retention: Deciduous Leaf Arrangement: Alternate Leaf Complexity: Simple Leaf Shape: Elliptic
, Ovate Leaf Venation: Pinnate Leaf Margin:
Double-serrate Breeding System:
, Monoecious Inflorescence: Catkin Size Notes:
Height 20-40 feet, spread 20-30 feet. Leaf:
Dark green above. Fruit:
Conelike, 1/2 to 1 inch long. Size Class:
12-36 ft. , 36-72 ft.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Red , Green , Brown
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr
, WA Canada: BC Native Distribution:
SE. Alaska southeast to central California; also local in N. Idaho; to 2500 (762 m). Native Habitat:
Moist soils including loam, gravel, sand, and clay, along streams and lower slopes; often in nearly pure stands.
Growing ConditionsWater Use: High
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low
Used in smoking meats and fish. Use Other:
Furniture, veneer, cabinets. Bark
was used by Indians for dyes. Interesting Foliage:
PropagationPropagation Material: Seeds , Softwood Cuttings
Seed Treatment: Best germination in full sun.
Maintenance: Can be shaped by pruning when young.
National Wetland Indicator Status
|Status:|| FAC || FACW || FAC |
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1
(Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here
for map of regions.
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:
Native Seed Network
- Corvallis, OR
Record Last Modified: 2009-01-29
Research By: TWC Staff