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Alnus
ALDER

Higher Taxonomy
Family: BetulaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Common Name: BIRCH FAMILY
Habit: Shrub, tree; monoecious. Stem: trunk < 35 m; bark smooth to scaly, peeling in thin layers or not, lenticels present or not. Leaf: simple, alternate, petioled, deciduous; stipules deciduous; blade ovate to elliptic, generally serrate, generally +- doubly so. Inflorescence: catkin, generally appearing before leaves, often clustered; bracts each subtending 2--3 flowers, 3--6 bractlets. Staminate Inflorescence: pendent, +- elongate. Pistillate Inflorescence: pendent or erect, developing variously in fruit (see key to genera). Staminate Flower: sepals 0--4, minute; petals 0; stamens 1--10; pistil vestigial or 0. Pistillate Flower: sepals 0--4; petals 0; stamens 0; pistil 1, ovary inferior or superior, chambers 2, each 1-ovuled by abortion, stigmas 2. Fruit: achene, nut, winged or not, subtended or enclosed by 1--2 bracts.
Genera In Family: 6 genera, 155 species: generally northern hemisphere; some cultivated.
eFlora Treatment Author: John O. Sawyer, Jr.
Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.

Alnus
Stem: trunk < 35 m; bark smooth, gray to brown; twigs glabrous to fine-hairy, red-gray; lenticels small; winter buds stalked, 0--6-scaled. Leaf: glabrous to fine-hairy; blade 3--15 cm, cordate to elliptic or diamond-shaped. Staminate Inflorescence: 5--20 cm; bracts each subtending 3 flowers, 4 bractlets. Pistillate Inflorescence: 5--20 mm; bracts each subtending 2 flowers, 4 fused bractlets. Staminate Flower: sepals 4; stamens 1--4. Pistillate Flower: sepals 0. Fruit: many, in cone-like catkin, not enclosed by bract, winged, bracts 3 mm, woody, persistent.
Species In Genus: +- 25 species: northern hemisphere, South America. Etymology: (Latin: alder) Note: Root nodules contain nitrogen-fixing bacteria; wood used for interior finishing, to smoke fish, meats.
eFlora Treatment Author: John O. Sawyer, Jr.
Jepson Online Interchange
Key to Alnus

Previous taxon: Betulaceae
Next taxon: Alnus cordata

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Citation for this treatment: John O. Sawyer, Jr. 2016. Alnus, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_IJM.pl?tid=9113, accessed on May 29, 2016.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2016. Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/IJM.html, accessed on May 29, 2016.


Alnus rhombifolia
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© 2006 Steve Matson
Alnus incana subsp. tenuifolia
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© 2012 Julie Kierstead Nelson
Alnus rubra
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© 2008 California Academy of Sciences
Alnus rhombifolia
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© 2008 Keir Morse
Alnus rhombifolia
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© 2013 Julie Kierstead Nelson
Alnus rubra
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© 2007 California Academy of Sciences

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