We need to raise £10,000 from user donations to get our finances in balance. More >>>

Follow Us:

 

Alnus tenuifolia - Nutt.

Common Name Mountain Alder, Thinleaf alder
Family Betulaceae
USDA hardiness 5-7
Known Hazards The freshly harvested inner bark is emetic but is alright once it has been dried[172].
Habitats Moist soils by swamps, streams, ponds and lakes in foothills to well up in the mountains[60, 229].
Range Western N. America - Alaska to California and New Mexico.
Edibility Rating    (1 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Wet Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Alnus tenuifolia Mountain Alder, Thinleaf alder


Alnus tenuifolia Mountain Alder, Thinleaf alder

 

Translate this page:

You can translate the content of this page by selecting a language in the select box.

Summary

Bloom Color: Purple, Red. Main Bloom Time: Early spring, Late spring, Mid spring. Form: Oval, Pyramidal.


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of lolypop
Alnus tenuifolia is a deciduous Tree growing to 9 m (29ft 6in) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 2. It is in flower in March, and the seeds ripen in October. The species is monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and is 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 moist or wet soil.

Synonyms

A. incana tenuifolia. (Nutt.)Breitung.

Habitats

Woodland Garden Canopy; Secondary; Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; Bog Garden;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Flowers.
Edible Uses:

Catkins - raw or cooked. A bitter taste[172].

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.

Anodyne;  Astringent;  Emetic;  Febrifuge;  Haemostatic;  Stomachic;  Tonic.

The bark is astringent, emetic, haemostatic, stomachic and tonic[172]. The bark also contains salicin[226], which probably decomposes into salicylic acid (closely related to aspirin) in the human body[213]. This is used as an anodyne and febrifuge[226]. The outer bark is astringent and is applied as a poultice to bleeding wounds, it also reduces swellings[226].

Other Uses

Pioneer;  Soil stabilization;  Tannin;  Wood.

This is an excellent pioneer species for re-establishing woodlands on disused farmland, difficult sites etc[226]. 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]. The tree has an extensive root system and can be planted to control banks from erosion[226]. The bark and the strobils are a source of tannin[82]. A dark dye is obtained from the bark[226]. The colour can range from orange through red to brown[257]. Wood - soft, straight-grained, very durable in water[82]. It is of no commercial value, though it is used locally as a fuel[229].

Cultivation details

Landscape Uses: Erosion control. Prefers a heavy soil and a damp situation[1, 11]. Grows well in heavy clay soils[11]. Tolerates very infertile sites[200]. A fast-growing but short-lived tree[229]. There is some confusion over the correct name of this tree with one authority citing the European species A. incana as the correct name[60]. Another report says that this species is closely related to A. incana, but distinct[229]. Some modern works treat it as a subspecies (Alnus incana tenuifolia). 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]. Special Features:Not North American native, Wetlands plant, Inconspicuous flowers or blooms.

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 cordataItalian Alder00
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 viridis crispaAmerican Green Alder12

 

Print Friendly and PDF

Expert comment

Author

Nutt.

Botanical References

1160200

Links / References

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

Readers comment

QR Code

What's this?

This is a QR code (short for Quick Response) which gives fast-track access to our website pages. QR Codes are barcodes that can be read by mobile phone (smartphone) cameras. This QR Code is unique to this page. All plant pages have their own unique code. For more information about QR Codes click here.

1. Copy and print the QR code to a plant label, poster, book, website, magazines, newspaper etc and even t-shirts.

2. Smartphone users scan the QR Code which automatically takes them to the webpage the QR Code came from.

3. Smartphone users quickly have information on a plant directly for the pfaf.org website on their phone.

Add a comment

If you have important information about this plant that may help other users please add a comment or link below. Only comments or links that are felt to be directly relevant to a plant will be included. If you think a comment/link or information contained on this page is inaccurate or misleading we would welcome your feedback at admin@pfaf.org. If you have questions about a plant please use the Forum on this website as we do not have the resources to answer questions ourselves.

* Please note: the comments by website users are not necessarily those held by PFAF and may give misleading or inaccurate information.

To leave a comment please Register or login here All comments need to be approved so will not appear immediately.

Subject : Alnus tenuifolia  
All the information contained in these pages is Copyright (C) Plants For A Future, 1996-2012.
Plants For A Future is a charitable company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales. Charity No. 1057719, Company No. 3204567,
Web Design & Management
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Some information cannot be used for commercial reasons or be modified (but some can). Please view the copyright link for more information.