Description:Alders are attractive deciduous shrubs or trees with alternative leaaves. The flowers occur in large and conspicuous catkins. Both male and female flowers appear on the same plant. The female flowers develop cones, and both catkins and cones can be found on the plant in fall.
A.glutinosa,also called European alder, grows to about 80 feet. The rounded leaves are 4 inches long.A.cordataItalian Aldergrows to be 70 feet. Small branches have a reddish cast,and the 2-3 inch reddish leaves are heart shaped at the bottom.A.oblongifolia,also known as New Mexican alder,gros to a height of 80 feet. It has a saw toothed,oblong leaves and straight,parallel veins on each side;the bark is smooth,dark grey. It is found in New Mexico and Arazona. White alder,or Sierra alder,is a good indicator or water, as it grows only where there are permanant streams. Red alder is considered the leading hardwood in the pacific northwest.
The Folklore of Trees and Shrubs:Laura C.Martin
The Globe pequot press(1992)