Alnus alnobetula

(Ehrhart) K. Koch

Dendrologie 2(1): 625. 1872.

Basionym: Betula alnobetula Ehrhart Gartenkalender 2: 193. 1783
Synonyms: Alnus ovata (Schrank) Loddiges Alnus viridis (Chaix) de Candolle
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 3.

Shrubs, spreading to compact, to 10 m. Bark smooth; lenticels scattered, conspicuous to inconspicuous, small, mostly unenlarged. Winter buds nearly sessile, ovoid, apex acuminate; stalks usually not over 1 mm; scales 4–6, unequal, imbricate. Leaf blade broadly to narrowly ovate or elliptic, 3–11 × 3–8 cm, base rounded, obtuse, or cuneate, sometimes nearly cordate, margins serrulate to coarsely doubly serrate, apex acute to rounded; surfaces abaxially glabrous to tomentose, lightly to heavily resin-coated. Inflorescences: staminate catkins in 1 cluster of 2–4, formed late in growing season before flowering and exposed during winter; pistillate catkins in 1 or more clusters of 2–10, formed season before blooming, enclosed in buds during winter, exposed with new growth in spring. Flowering with new growth in spring. Infructescences ovoid to ellipsoid or nearly cylindric; peduncles relatively long, thin. Samaras elliptic to obovate, wings wider than body, membranaceous.


St. Pierre and Miquelon, Greenland, Alta., B.C., Man., N.B., Nfld. and Labr., N.W.T., N.S., Nunavut, Ont., P.E.I., Que., Sask., Yukon, Alaska, Calif., Idaho, Maine, Mass., Mich., Minn., Mont., N.C., N.H., N.Y., Oreg., Pa., Tenn., Vt., Wash., Wis., Wyo., Southern arctic, subarctic, and n mountainous regions, North America and Asia.


Subspecies 4 (3 in the flora).

Alnus alnobetula is distinctive among the alders in its essentially sessile buds with several imbricate scales and in its relatively long, thin, infructescence peduncles. Like the birches, only the staminate catkins are exposed during the winter prior to blooming.

Although the name Alnus viridis is often used for this species, its basionym, Betula viridis Chaix, was published after Betula alnobetula, making the correct name for the species A. alnobetula.

Selected References



1 Leaf blade coarsely doubly serrate, thin, light or yellowish green, glabrous to sparsely pubescent; mountainous nw United States, Alaska, and Canada. Alnus alnobetula subsp. sinuata
1 Leaf blade serrulate to finely and densely serrate or doubly serrate, firm, dark green, sometimes abaxially sparsely to densely pubescent. > 2
2 Leaf blade broadly to narrowly ovate or elliptic, margins serrulate or finely serrate, apex obtuse to acute; e United States, n Canada, Alaska, and s Greenland. Alnus alnobetula subsp. crispa
2 Leaf blade broadly ovate, margins sharply and densely doubly serrate, apex acute to short-acuminate; w coastal North America, adjacent subarctic Asia. Alnus alnobetula subsp. fruticosa
... more about "Alnus alnobetula"
John J. Furlow +
(Ehrhart) K. Koch +
Betula alnobetula +
St. Pierre and Miquelon +, Greenland +, Alta. +, B.C. +, Man. +, N.B. +, Nfld. and Labr. +, N.W.T. +, N.S. +, Nunavut +, Ont. +, P.E.I. +, Que. +, Sask. +, Yukon +, Alaska +, Calif. +, Idaho +, Maine +, Mass. +, Mich. +, Minn. +, Mont. +, N.C. +, N.H. +, N.Y. +, Oreg. +, Pa. +, Tenn. +, Vt. +, Wash. +, Wis. +, Wyo. +, Southern arctic +, subarctic +, and n mountainous regions +  and North America and Asia. +
Dendrologie +
Alnus ovata +  and Alnus viridis +
Alnus alnobetula +
species +