Black Alder Alnus glutinosa
Family: Betulaceae (Birch)
Other names: European Black Alder
This Alder is, as its name suggests, a European import.
It is sometimes used in landscaping and occasionally escapes.
In the winter it can look similar to Speckled Alder, but unlike
Speckled, it usually grows to tree size. This alone will
eliminate confusion on mature trees. On small specimens, where twigs are
available, the stalked buds of Black Alder are different than Speckled Alder. Mature trees, with no low
branches or twigs, can easily be mistaken for Black Birch,
as the bark of that tree does not peel readily like other birches and
they both have similar horizontal markings on the bark. Seed
"cones" would normally be seen on an Alder. Also, Black Birch
twigs have a wintergreen smell when crushed. Note: Winterry is often called Black Alder
Winter twig of Black Alder
The stalked lateral bud of Black Alder
Black Alder's pendulous catkins and "seed cones"
Closer look at the catkins
Last year's "seed cones"
Another view of the winter twig
Bark of Black Alder
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© 2008 Josh Sayers
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