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Alnus rugosa - (Du Roi.)Spreng.

Common Name Speckled Alder
Family Betulaceae
USDA hardiness Coming soon
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Wet sandy or gravelly soils, usually along streams and rivers, but also in ponds and swamps[229]. It is only found in open sunny areas, being unable to compete in dense shade[229].
Range Northern and Eastern N. America - Hudson's Bay to Virginia. Naturalized in C. Europe[50].
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Wet Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Alnus rugosa Speckled Alder


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Alnus rugosa Speckled Alder
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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of lolypop
Alnus rugosa is a deciduous Tree growing to 22 m (72ft 2in) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 2. It is in flower in May, 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 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 moist or wet soil.

Synonyms

A. incana rugosa. (Duroi.)Clausen.

Habitats

Woodland Garden Canopy; 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.

Alterative;  Anodyne;  Astringent;  Cathartic;  Emetic;  Febrifuge;  Odontalgic;  Ophthalmic;  
Stomachic;  Tonic.

The speckled alder was quite widely used medicinally by the native North American Indians who used it to treat a variety of complaints[257]. It is little used in modern herbalism. The bark is alterative, astringent, emetic, laxative, ophthalmic, stomachic and tonic[46, 61, 257]. The bark 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 root bark was mixed with molasses and used in the treatment of toothache[257]. A decoction of the inner bark was used as a wash for sore eyes[257]. The outer bark is astringent and is applied as a poultice to bleeding wounds, it also reduces swellings[226].

Other Uses

Dye;  Pioneer;  Soil stabilization;  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]. A dark dye is obtained from the bark[226]. Browns, through red to orange colours can be obtained from the bark[257]. The wood is soft, weighing 29lb per cubic foot[235]. The tree is too small to be of importance for lumber or fuel[229].

Cultivation details

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]. Closely related to A. incana[11] and considered to be no more than a sub-species (A. incana rugosa) by some botanists[226]. 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].

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 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 maritimaSeaside Alder, Beach Alder00
Alnus maximowiczii 00
Alnus nepalensisNepalese Alder01
Alnus nitida 01
Alnus rhombifoliaWhite Alder12
Alnus rubraRed Alder, Oregon Alder22
Alnus serrulataSmooth Alder, Hazel alder02
Alnus sinuataSitka Alder11
Alnus tenuifoliaMountain Alder, Thinleaf alder12
Alnus viridis crispaAmerican Green Alder12

 

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Author

(Du Roi.)Spreng.

Botanical References

1143200

Links / References

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Subject : Alnus rugosa  
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