Black Alder, also called European Alder
or European Black Alder (Alnus glutinosa
Gaerten, Family Betulaceae)
Description of Plant
- Leaf: Found
in 3 rows, 1 1/4 - 4" long, 1- 2 1/2' wide; eliptical to
nearly round; doubly saw-toothed with 5 to 7 parallel veins on
- Flower: Male
catkins are 1 - 1 1/2" long, female flowers which are found
in the cones are 1/4" long.
- Cones: 5/8
- 7/8" long, in clusters of 3 to 5; eliptical or egg-shaped,
black, hard gummy and long-stalked.
- Twig: Mostly
hairless, with 3-angled pith.
- Bark: Brown;
smooth becoming furrowed into broad plates.
- Form: Straight
trunk with rounded or oblong crown of dark green foliage.
- Discussion: This
introduced native ornamental tree is found in wet soils and humid,
cool conditions. Can reach a height of 50-70' with a 1-2' trunk
- Distribution: Introduced
to U.S. and found throughout. Native of Europe, Asia and N. Africa.
Naturalized locally in SE Canada and the NE U.S.
Typical Growth Form of Young Tree
Black Alder Reproductive Structures (Measured
Mature Catkins(left) and Mature Cones (right)
Backyard, 803 E. Olympian Road, Urbana, IL,
Spring, 2003 Organismal Biology Class and David
M. Stone (Instructor), University Laboratory High School, Urbana,
IL. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for permission for use
of these images. Permission will generally be granted for education-
and non-profit-related use.
Developed 5/03. Last modified 6/24/03.
- More, David and John White, The Illustrated
Encyclopedia of Trees, Timber Press, Portland, Oregon, 2002.
- Petrides, George, A Field Guide to Eastern
Trees, Peterson Field Guide Series, Houghton Mifflin Company,
- National Audubon Society Field Guide to North
American Trees: Eastern Region, Alfred A. Knopf. New York, 1996.
- Trees of North America, Golden Press, New