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Hazel Alder

Alnus rugosa (DuRoi) Spreng.

Hazel alder
Figure 60.—Hazel alder (Alnus rugosa)
Synonym.Alnus serrulata Willd.

Other common names.—Tag alder, common alder, red alder, smooth alder, green alder, American alder, speckled alder, swamp-alder, notch-leaved alder.

Habitat and range.—Hazel alder is found in swamps and along the marshy banks of streams from New England south to Florida and Texas and westward to Ohio and Minnesota.

Description.—The hazel alder, although it sometimes attains the height of a tree, is more frequently a shrub from 5 to 20 feet high with smooth, brownish-gray bark. It has somewhat leathery, oval leaves from 2 to 4 1/2 inches long. The flowers, which appear early in the spring before the leaves develop, are reddish green. The male flowers are borne in drooping and the female in erect catkins. The conelike fruit usually remains on the shrub throughout the winter. The bark has a strong, rather aromatic odor and a bitter astringent taste.

Part used.—The bark.

Sievers, A.F. 1930. The Herb Hunters Guide. Misc. Publ. No. 77. USDA, Washington DC.
Last update March 19, 1998 by aw