Alnus glutinosa (L.) Gaertn.

Black Alder

Broad-crowned to narrow tree to 25 m tall, often multi-stemmed. Branches more or less drooping. Young shoots sticky. Leaves more or less round to obovate, 4-10 cm long with 6-9 pairs of veins with yellowish-brown hairs in vein axils on lower surface, tip rounded or indented, base wedge-shaped; margin teeth double. Flowers in spring. Fruits in groups of 3-6, stalked.

Europe to Caucasus &Siberia, N Africa

Leaves mostly obovate, tapering at the base.

ACT: Aspen Island near Carillon; Yarramundi Reach, Lake Burley Griffin. VIC: Geelong (Geelong Botanic Gardens, about 5 m tall in 1983); Dandenongs (R.J.Hamer Arboretum, planted 1977).


f. incisa (Willd.) Koehne is occasionally offered and differs from 'Laciniata' in having rounded leaves with deeply cut and toothed lobes.

NSW: Blue Mountains Botanic Garden Mount Tomah. VIC: Emerald (Nobelius Heritage Park by office, 18 m tall in 1990).

Source: Spencer, R. (1997). Betulaceae. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 2. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 1. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

Distribution map

Alnus glutinosa 'Aurea'

New bark orange; leaves yellow at first.

Discovered 1860 at the Vervaene Nursery, Ledeberg, Ghent, Belgium.

Alnus glutinosa 'Imperialis'

Leaves deeply cut almost to the midrib.

Cultivated before the mid 19th century.

Alnus glutinosa 'Laciniata'

Leaves oblong in outline, cut but not so deeply as 'Imperialis'.

Originated from garden in St Germain, France in 1819.

A cultivar of the same name exists for A. incana and is very similar except for the soft down on the lower leaf surface.

kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Rosanae
order      Fagales
family       Betulaceae
genus        Alnus Mill.