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Alnus rhombifolia Nutt.
Synonym(s): Alnus rhombifolia var. bernardina
USDA Symbol: alrh2
USDA Native Status: L48 (N)
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
, 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.
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
National Wetland Indicator Status
|Status:|| FACW || FACW |
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:
Santa Barbara Botanic Garden
- Santa Barbara, CANative Seed Network
- Corvallis, OR
Record Last Modified: 2007-01-01
Research By: TWC Staff