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Useful Temperate Plants

Alnus alnobetula

(Ehrh.) K.Koch

Betulaceae

+ Synonyms

Alnaster crispus (Aiton) Czerep.

Alnaster fruticosus (Rupr.) Ledeb.

Alnaster kamtschaticus (Callier) Czerep.

Alnaster sinuatus (Regel) Czerep

Alnaster viridis (Chaix) Spach.

Alnus alpina Vill.

Alnus brembana Rota

Alnus corylifolia A.Kern. ex Dalla Torre

Alnus crispa (Aiton) Pursh

Alnus fruticosa Rupr.

Alnus kamschatica (Regel) Kudô ex Masam.

Alnus maximowiczii parvifolia Callier

Alnus minor brembana (Rota) Fiori

Alnus mitchelliana M.A.Curtis ex A.Gray

Alnus mollis Fernald

Alnus orbiculata Lopylaie ex Spach

Alnus ovata (Schrank) G.Lodd.

Alnus pumila Nois. ex Corrie

Alnus repens Wormsk. ex Hornem.

Alnus sinuata (Regel) Rydb.

Alnus sitchensis (Regel) Sarg.

Alnus suaveolens Req.

Alnus tristis Wormsk. ex Regel

Alnus undulata Willd.

Alnus viridis (Chaix) DC.

Alnus viridis A.Gray

Alnus viridis lusus communis Regel

Betula alnobetula Ehrh.

Betula alnus crispa (Aiton) Michx.

Betula alnus-crispa Steud.

Betula alpina Borkh. ex Theorin

Betula crispa Aiton

Betula ovata Schrank

Betula tristis Wormsk. ex Link

Betula viridis Chaix

Duschekia alnobetula (Ehrh.) Pouzar

Duschekia crispa (Aiton) Pouzar

Duschekia fruticosa (Rupr.) Pouzar

Duschekia kamtschatica (Callier) Pouzar

Duschekia ovata (Schrank) Opiz

Duschekia sinuata (Regel) Pouzar

Duschekia viridis (Chaix) Opiz

Semidopsis viridis (Chaix) Zumagl.

Common Name: Sitka Alder

Alnus alnobetula

General Information

Alnus alnobetula is a spreading to compact, deciduous shrub or small tree that can grow up to 10 metres tall but is more likely to be within the range 1 - 3 metres[
270
Title
Flora of N. America
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/fna/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line version of the flora with an excellent description of the plant including a brief mention of plant uses.
,
1062
Title
European Atlas of Forest Tree Species
Publication
 
Author
Jesús San-Miguel-Ayanz et al
Website
http://bookshop.europa.eu
Publisher
European Union
Year
2016
ISBN
978-92-79-36740-3
Description
Detailed information on 76 species of European trees. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].
The tree is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine, source of materials and possibly also as a food. It is a pioneer species and can be used for restoring native woodland.

Known Hazards

The freshly harvested inner bark is emetic but is alright once it has been dried[
172
Title
Discovering Wild Plants - Alaska, W. Canada and the Northwest.
Publication
 
Author
Schofield. J. J.
Publisher
Alaska Northwest Books; Alaska
Year
2003
ISBN
0882403699
Description
A nice guide to some useful plants in that area.
].

Botanical References

11
Title
Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
Publication
 
Author
Bean. W.
Publisher
Murray
Year
1981
ISBN
-
Description
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
,
60
Title
Vascular Plants of the Pacific Northwest.
Publication
 
Author
Hitchcock. C. L.
Publisher
University of Washington Press
Year
1955
ISBN
-
Description
A standard flora for Western N. America with lots of information on habitat etc. Five large volumes, it is not for the casual reader.
,
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.

Range

Widespread through temperate and subarctic regions of Europe, Asia and N. America.

Habitat

Moist woods, stream banks, margins of ponds, to open but moist montane slopes at or near the timber line[
60
Title
Vascular Plants of the Pacific Northwest.
Publication
 
Author
Hitchcock. C. L.
Publisher
University of Washington Press
Year
1955
ISBN
-
Description
A standard flora for Western N. America with lots of information on habitat etc. Five large volumes, it is not for the casual reader.
]. Along streams, lakeshores, coasts, and bog or muskeg margins, or on sandy or gravelly slopes or flats, from sea level to 2,000 metres[
270
Title
Flora of N. America
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/fna/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line version of the flora with an excellent description of the plant including a brief mention of plant uses.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *
Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitDeciduous Shrub
Height4.00 m
Growth RateFast
PollinatorsWind
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details


Grows best in a sunny position[
1062
Title
European Atlas of Forest Tree Species
Publication
 
Author
Jesús San-Miguel-Ayanz et al
Website
http://bookshop.europa.eu
Publisher
European Union
Year
2016
ISBN
978-92-79-36740-3
Description
Detailed information on 76 species of European trees. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. Prefers a heavy soil and a damp situation[
1
Title
RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Publication
 
Author
F. Chittendon.
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Year
1951
ISBN
-
Description
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaced in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
,
11
Title
Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
Publication
 
Author
Bean. W.
Publisher
Murray
Year
1981
ISBN
-
Description
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
]. Grows well in heavy clay soils[
11
Title
Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
Publication
 
Author
Bean. W.
Publisher
Murray
Year
1981
ISBN
-
Description
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
]. Tolerates very infertile sites[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].
A fast-growing but short-lived species, rarely living longer than 50 years[
229
Title
The Complete Trees of N. America. Field Guide and Natural History.
Publication
 
Author
Elias. T.
Publisher
Van Nostrand Reinhold Co.
Year
1980
ISBN
0442238622
Description
A very good concise guide. Gives habitats, good descriptions, maps showing distribution and a few of the uses. It also includes the many shrubs that occasionally reach tree proportions.
]. It is a pioneer species of logged or burnt land, often forming dense thickets in low wet areas[
229
Title
The Complete Trees of N. America. Field Guide and Natural History.
Publication
 
Author
Elias. T.
Publisher
Van Nostrand Reinhold Co.
Year
1980
ISBN
0442238622
Description
A very good concise guide. Gives habitats, good descriptions, maps showing distribution and a few of the uses. It also includes the many shrubs that occasionally reach tree proportions.
].
The plant coppices easily, regrowing from the stump and also from suckers[
1062
Title
European Atlas of Forest Tree Species
Publication
 
Author
Jesús San-Miguel-Ayanz et al
Website
http://bookshop.europa.eu
Publisher
European Union
Year
2016
ISBN
978-92-79-36740-3
Description
Detailed information on 76 species of European trees. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].
This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil micro-organisms, these form nodules on the roots of the plants and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].

Edible Uses

Catkins - raw or cooked. A bitter flavour[
172
Title
Discovering Wild Plants - Alaska, W. Canada and the Northwest.
Publication
 
Author
Schofield. J. J.
Publisher
Alaska Northwest Books; Alaska
Year
2003
ISBN
0882403699
Description
A nice guide to some useful plants in that area.
].

Medicinal

The bark is astringent, emetic, haemostatic, stomachic and tonic[
172
Title
Discovering Wild Plants - Alaska, W. Canada and the Northwest.
Publication
 
Author
Schofield. J. J.
Publisher
Alaska Northwest Books; Alaska
Year
2003
ISBN
0882403699
Description
A nice guide to some useful plants in that area.
]. The bark was burnt as an inhalant in the treatment of rheumatism[
257
Title
Native American Ethnobotany
Publication
 
Author
Moerman. D.
Publisher
Timber Press. Oregon.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-88192-453-9
Description
Very comprehensive but terse guide to the native uses of plants. Excellent bibliography, fully referenced to each plant, giving a pathway to further information. Not for the casual reader.
]. The ashes were also used as a tooth cleaner[
257
Title
Native American Ethnobotany
Publication
 
Author
Moerman. D.
Publisher
Timber Press. Oregon.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-88192-453-9
Description
Very comprehensive but terse guide to the native uses of plants. Excellent bibliography, fully referenced to each plant, giving a pathway to further information. Not for the casual reader.
].
A decoction of the inner bark has been used as a carminative to reduce gas in the stomach and as a febrifuge[
257
Title
Native American Ethnobotany
Publication
 
Author
Moerman. D.
Publisher
Timber Press. Oregon.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-88192-453-9
Description
Very comprehensive but terse guide to the native uses of plants. Excellent bibliography, fully referenced to each plant, giving a pathway to further information. Not for the casual reader.
].
A decoction of the plant has been used in a steam treatment to bring about menstruation - it has been used as an abortifacient[
257
Title
Native American Ethnobotany
Publication
 
Author
Moerman. D.
Publisher
Timber Press. Oregon.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-88192-453-9
Description
Very comprehensive but terse guide to the native uses of plants. Excellent bibliography, fully referenced to each plant, giving a pathway to further information. Not for the casual reader.
].

A poultice of the leaves has been used to treat infected wounds or sores[
257
Title
Native American Ethnobotany
Publication
 
Author
Moerman. D.
Publisher
Timber Press. Oregon.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-88192-453-9
Description
Very comprehensive but terse guide to the native uses of plants. Excellent bibliography, fully referenced to each plant, giving a pathway to further information. Not for the casual reader.
]. The poultice was left in place over the wound until the leaves stuck to it and was then pulled off, removing the 'poison' with it[
257
Title
Native American Ethnobotany
Publication
 
Author
Moerman. D.
Publisher
Timber Press. Oregon.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-88192-453-9
Description
Very comprehensive but terse guide to the native uses of plants. Excellent bibliography, fully referenced to each plant, giving a pathway to further information. Not for the casual reader.
].

An infusion of the plant tops was given to children with poor appetites[
257
Title
Native American Ethnobotany
Publication
 
Author
Moerman. D.
Publisher
Timber Press. Oregon.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-88192-453-9
Description
Very comprehensive but terse guide to the native uses of plants. Excellent bibliography, fully referenced to each plant, giving a pathway to further information. Not for the casual reader.
].

Agroforestry Uses:

This is one of the first successional taxa to appear in the northwestern mountains of N. America following disruption of the mature vegetation. It often forms dense thickets on avalanche and talus slopes[
270
Title
Flora of N. America
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/fna/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line version of the flora with an excellent description of the plant including a brief mention of plant uses.
]. It is an excellent pioneer species for re-establishing woodlands on disused farmland, difficult sites etc[
226
Title
Identification Guide to the Trees of Canada
Publication
 
Author
Lauriault. J.
Publisher
Fitzhenry and Whiteside, Ontario.
Year
1989
ISBN
0889025649
Description
Very good on identification for non-experts, the book also has a lot of information on plant uses.
]. Its fast rate of growth means that it quickly provides sheltered conditions to allow more permanent woodland trees to become established. In addition, bacteria on the roots fix atmospheric nitrogen - whilst this enables the tree to grow well in quite poor soils it also makes some of this nitrogen available to other plants growing nearby. Alder trees also have a heavy leaf canopy and when the leaves fall in the autumn they help to build up the humus content of the soil. Alder seedlings do not compete well in shady woodland conditions and so this species gradually dies out as the other trees become established[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].
The tree has an extensive root system and can be planted to control banks from erosion[
226
Title
Identification Guide to the Trees of Canada
Publication
 
Author
Lauriault. J.
Publisher
Fitzhenry and Whiteside, Ontario.
Year
1989
ISBN
0889025649
Description
Very good on identification for non-experts, the book also has a lot of information on plant uses.
,
229
Title
The Complete Trees of N. America. Field Guide and Natural History.
Publication
 
Author
Elias. T.
Publisher
Van Nostrand Reinhold Co.
Year
1980
ISBN
0442238622
Description
A very good concise guide. Gives habitats, good descriptions, maps showing distribution and a few of the uses. It also includes the many shrubs that occasionally reach tree proportions.
].

Other Uses

The bark and the strobils are a source of tannin[
82
Title
Manual of the Trees of N. America.
Publication
 
Author
Sargent. C. S.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/
Publisher
Dover Publications Inc. New York.
Year
1965
ISBN
0-486-20278-X
Description
Two volumes, a comprehensive listing of N. American trees though a bit out of date now. Good details on habitats, some details on plant uses. Not really for the casual reader. It can be downloaded from the internet.
].

An orange-red to brown dye can be obtained from the bark[
257
Title
Native American Ethnobotany
Publication
 
Author
Moerman. D.
Publisher
Timber Press. Oregon.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-88192-453-9
Description
Very comprehensive but terse guide to the native uses of plants. Excellent bibliography, fully referenced to each plant, giving a pathway to further information. Not for the casual reader.
].

The wood is soft, straight-grained, very durable in water[
82
Title
Manual of the Trees of N. America.
Publication
 
Author
Sargent. C. S.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/
Publisher
Dover Publications Inc. New York.
Year
1965
ISBN
0-486-20278-X
Description
Two volumes, a comprehensive listing of N. American trees though a bit out of date now. Good details on habitats, some details on plant uses. Not really for the casual reader. It can be downloaded from the internet.
]. The tree is too small to be of use as a source of lumber, but the wood is used locally for fuel[
226
Title
Identification Guide to the Trees of Canada
Publication
 
Author
Lauriault. J.
Publisher
Fitzhenry and Whiteside, Ontario.
Year
1989
ISBN
0889025649
Description
Very good on identification for non-experts, the book also has a lot of information on plant uses.
,
229
Title
The Complete Trees of N. America. Field Guide and Natural History.
Publication
 
Author
Elias. T.
Publisher
Van Nostrand Reinhold Co.
Year
1980
ISBN
0442238622
Description
A very good concise guide. Gives habitats, good descriptions, maps showing distribution and a few of the uses. It also includes the many shrubs that occasionally reach tree proportions.
].

Propagation

Seed - best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe and only just covered[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. Spring sown seed should also germinate successfully so long as it is not covered[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
,
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
]. The seed should germinate in the spring as the weather warms up. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots. If growth is sufficient, it is possible to plant them out into their permanent positions in the summer, otherwise keep them in pots outdoors and plant them out in the spring.
If you have sufficient quantity of seed, it can be sown thinly in an outdoor seed bed in the spring[
78
Title
Propagation of Trees, Shrubs and Conifers.
Publication
 
Author
Sheat. W. G.
Publisher
MacMillan and Co
Year
1948
ISBN
-
Description
A bit dated but a good book on propagation techniques with specific details for a wide range of plants.
]. The seedlings can either be planted out into their permanent positions in the autumn/winter, or they can be allowed to grow on in the seed bed for a further season before planting them.
Cuttings of mature wood, taken as soon as the leaves fall in autumn, outdoors in sandy soil.
Cite as: Temperate Plants Database, Ken Fern. temperate.theferns.info. 2019-10-22. <temperate.theferns.info/plant/Alnus+alnobetula>

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