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Alnus glutinosa Gaertn.
Family Betulaceae
Common name: Black Alder, Common Alder, European Alder

Alnus glutinosa Gaertn. APNI*

Description: Deciduous tree to 20 m high (or 40 m in its natural range), often multi-stemmed, planted trees often reduced in height. Branches more or less drooping, young shoots sticky. Bark dark brown or grey, fissured and becoming deeply furrowed.

Leaves orbicular or obovate, 4–10 cm long; base cuneate; apex obtuse or emarginate; margin dentate; venation pinnate with 6–9 pairs; yellowish-brown hairs in vein axils on lower surface of leaves.

Has separate male and female catkins.

Fruits cone-like, in groups of 3–6, stalked.


Flowering: Spring

Distribution and occurrence: Native of NW Europe, W Asia and N Africa; naturalised in E Canada and NE USA where it is often refered to as European Alder. Cultivated in Australia as an ornamental, with the potential to become naturalised. There are possible naturalised records from the A.C.T. associated with metropolitan parks near lake shores, including a disturbed stream beside Lake Ginninderra in Belconnen.

Streamsides, near lakes, damp ground, tolerant of water logged conditions.
NSW subdivisions: *CT, ?ST
AVH map***

Can fix nitrogen in the soil.

Text by P.G. Kodela (September 2005), Kerry Gibbons (3 May 2023).
Taxon concept: Spencer R., HortFlora [accessed 3 May 2023].

APNI* Provides a link to the Australian Plant Name Index (hosted by the Australian National Botanic Gardens) for comprehensive bibliographic data
***The AVH map option provides a detailed interactive Australia wide distribution map drawn from collections held by all major Australian herbaria participating in the Australian Virtual Herbarium project.
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