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Alnus incana

Alnus incana (Alder)
Betulaceae (Birch Family)

Montane, subalpine. Streamsides. Spring.
Ryman Creek Trail, June 16, 2005.

Alder is an attractive, low-growing tree very common along mountain streams.  Its leaves are toothed and often folded inward along the central leaf vein.  Alder has small persistent cones which are actually remains of the staminate flower clusters.  These remain on the branches after the leaves have fallen.

"Alnus" is the ancient Latin name for the tree, and "incana" is Latin for "gray or hoary".

Alnus incana

Alnus incana (Alder)
Betulaceae (Birch Family)

Montane, subalpine. Streamsides. Spring.
Ryman Creek Trail, June 16, 2005.

Alder almost always has many slender trunks.

Alnus incana

Alnus incana (Alder)
Betulaceae (Birch Family)

Montane, subalpine. Streamsides. Spring.
Ryman Creek Trail, June 16, 2005.

Alnus incana

Alnus incana (Alder)
Betulaceae (Birch Family)

Montane, subalpine. Streamsides. Spring.
Cimarron Trail, Uncompahgre Wilderness, August 22, 2004.

The green ripening seed pods (catkins) from 2004 will not ripen, open, and spill their seeds until 2005 when they will look like the brown catkin from 2003.

Range map © John Kartesz,
Floristic Synthesis of North America

State Color Key

Species present in state and native
Species present in state and exotic
Species not present in state

County Color Key

Species present and not rare
Species present and rare
Species extirpated (historic)
Species extinct
Species noxious
Species exotic and present
Native species, but adventive in state
Eradicated
Questionable presence

Range map for Alnus incana