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Alnus cordata - Desf.

Common Name Italian Alder
Family Betulaceae
USDA hardiness 5-9
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Very rarely self-sown in Britain, but not naturalised.
Range Europe - S. Italy, Corsica.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Wet Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Alnus cordata Italian Alder


(c) 2010 Ken Fern, Plants For A Future
Alnus cordata Italian Alder

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of lolypop
Alnus cordata is a deciduous Tree growing to 25 m (82ft) by 8 m (26ft) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 6. It is in leaf 12-Apr It is in flower in March. The species is monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and are pollinated by Wind.It can fix Nitrogen.
Suitable for: medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay and nutritionally poor soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry moist or wet soil. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.

Synonyms

A. cordifolia.

Habitats

Woodland Garden Canopy; Hedge; Bog Garden;

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.



None known

Other Uses

Hedge;  Pioneer;  Shelterbelt.

An excellent windbreak for maritime areas[75], it grows quite quickly and establishes well even in very windy sites[K]. Trees 5 years old from seed have reached 4 metres in height and are showing no signs of wind-shaping in a very exposed site in Cornwall[K]. This is an excellent pioneer species for re-establishing woodlands on disused farmland, difficult sites etc. 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].

Cultivation details

Thrives on poor and dryish soils, even on chalk, but prefers to be near water[11, 200]. Prefers a heavy soil and a damp situation[1, 11]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Tolerates very infertile sites[11, 200]. 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]. A very ornamental tree[1], it is very fast growing, reaching 12 metres tall in 20 years in an exposed maritime position at Rosewarne in N. Cornwall[75]. Very tolerant of salt winds, it establishes rapidly in exposed positions[75]. According to World Economic Plants, the correct author of this species is (Loisel.)Loisel. and not Desf. as we have given here. However, since all our other sources have quoted Desf., we have decided not to alter it at this time (1999)[K].

Propagation

Seed - best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe and only just covered[200]. Spring sown seed should also germinate successfully so long as it is not covered[200, K]. 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]. 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.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Alnus acuminataAlder02
Alnus glutinosaAlder, European alder , Common Alder, Black Alder03
Alnus hirsuta 00
Alnus incanaGrey Alder, Speckled alder, Thinleaf alder, White Alder00
Alnus japonicaJapanese Alder01
Alnus jorullensisMexican alder, Evergreen Alder00
Alnus maritimaSeaside Alder, Beach Alder00
Alnus maximowiczii 00
Alnus nepalensisNepalese Alder01
Alnus nitida 01
Alnus rhombifoliaWhite Alder12
Alnus rubraRed Alder, Oregon Alder22
Alnus rugosaSpeckled Alder02
Alnus serrulataSmooth Alder, Hazel alder02
Alnus sinuataSitka Alder11
Alnus tenuifoliaMountain Alder, Thinleaf alder12
Alnus viridis crispaAmerican Green Alder12

 

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Expert comment

Author

Desf.

Botanical References

1150200

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

phil corbett   Mon Jun 30 11:37:36 2003

Self-seeding: seeding frequent in Notts, UK, where it is often seen as seedlings in bare soil and at base of walls, etc

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Subject : Alnus cordata  
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