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Alnus viridis (Chaix) DC.
USDA Symbol: alvi5
Thicket-forming shrub or small tree, often with several trunks, and with shiny yellow-green leaves, gummy when young.
In Alaska, Green Alder is a pioneer in disturbed areas, following landslides, logging, and glacial retreat. Adapted to soils too barren for other trees, this species improves soil conditions by adding organic matter and nitrogen from bacteria in its roots. Alder roots have clusters of nodules containing nitrogen-fixing bacteria, which convert atmospheric nitrogen into a form usable by plants. Alders therefore thrive on nutrient-poor sites, and when these shrubs die and decompose, they release stored nitrogen and enrich the soil for other plants. (Kershaw) It acts as a short-lived nurse tree for Sitka Spruce (Picea sitchensis), later dying when shaded by the larger conifer.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Yellow , Green , Brown
Bloom Time: May , Jun
, WY Canada: NB
, PE Native Distribution:
SW. and central Alaska and Yukon southeast to NW. California and central Montana; in Alaska to alpine zone above timberline; in NW. California to 7000 (2134 m). Native Habitat:
Along streams and lakes and in valleys.
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement: Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Wet
Soil Description: Sandy
Conditions Comments: Alder roots have clusters of nodules containing nitrogen-fixing bacteria, which convert atmospheric nitrogen into a form usable by plants. Alders therefore thrive on nutrient-poor sites, and when these shrubs die and decompose, they release stored nitrogen.
BenefitUse Wildlife: Birds, Other Showy Insects
National Wetland Indicator Status
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:
- Johnstown, PA
Record Last Modified: 2012-07-03
Research By: TWC Staff