Alnus incana seed
Common names: Alder, Grey Alder, and Speckled Alder
Alnus incana is a small, approximately 10-30 feet tell, found throughout the Western United States. It is identifiable by its smooth grey bark with many raised pores. Leaves are elliptic, broad near the middle and irregularly toothed. The flowers appear as long hanging catkins in spring. Small cones (.5 inches or smaller) are full of seeds and appear summer to fall. Flowering and cone production begin at about 5-10 years. This Alder has a shallow root system and can produce many trees from one root system. Alders are known to support nitrogen fixing bacteria and can help other plants helping to fix nitrogen in the soil.
Medicinal: Alder has been used as a dermatological aid, allergies, sore throats, tooth aid, and as an antibiotic.
Habitat: The natural habitat for Alnus incana is in moist ground near rivers, ponds and lakes but it can also grow in drier locations and sometimes occurs in mixed woodland and on forest edges.