European black alder Betulaceae Alnus glutinosa (L.) Gaertn. Listen to the Latin symbol: ALGL2 Other Fact Sheets
Leaf: Alternate, simple, oval to orbicular, 2 to 4 inches long, 2 to 3 inches wide, rounded or slightly notched tip, doubly serrate margin, dark green above, lighter below with some scruffy pubescence in vein axils.
Flower: Species is monoecious; males slender, reddish-brown catkins (1 to 1 1/2 inch long), much longer when shedding pollen; females small (1/6 inch) reddish-brown, cone-like catkins in clusters near branch tips.
Fruit: Cone-like woody catkin, initially green, turning brown when ripe, 3/4 inch long, egg-shaped, contain many small winged nutlets, persistent through winter.
Twig: Green and sticky when young, later turning greenish brown; buds are stalked, purplish brown in color and somewhat three sided.
Bark: Initially smooth and grayish green, later turning grayish brown and developing irregular, small broken patches.
Form: Medium tree with a very narrow, upright crown; in its native habitat it reaches 80 feet tall and several feet in diameter; rarely get very large in North America.

Looks like: Italian alder - red alder - Arizona alder - hazel alder
leaf flower fruit twig bark form map
Additional Range Information:
Alnus glutinosa is planted in the USDA hardiness zones shown above and may seed into the landscape. See states reporting European black alder.
More: Fall Color
External Links:
USDAFS Silvics of North America
USDA Plants Database
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Photos and text by: John Seiler,
Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera,
and John Peterson
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