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Alnus rubra Bong.
Red alder, Western alder
Synonyms: Alnus oregona
USDA Symbol: ALRU2
USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.
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
AK , CA , ID , OR , 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. USDA Native Status: L48(N), AK(N), CAN(N)
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.
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
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Record Modified: 2009-01-29
Research By: TWC Staff