repared by Jennifer L. D’Appollonio, Assistant Scientist, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469. Updated March 2018.
Scientific name: Alnus incana (L.) Moench
Common name(s): speckled alder, gray alder
Images: (to see enlargements [PC]: click on image, then right click and choose “view image”)
– in New England, ssp. rugosa (Du Roi) Spreng.
-Small shrub 5′ to 20′ tall or a tree up to 40′
-Bark dark brown and speckled with white streaks
-twigs smooth to somewhat hairy, reddish-brown with scattered white lenticels
-Buds blunt tipped, reddish- brown and stalked with two scales
- alternate leaves
- dark green
- hairless and wrinkled above, whitened, dull and somewhat hairy beneath.
- Margin double-toothed and undulating
-Unisexual flowers; male catkin is 2″-4″ long and female catkin is 0.5″-0.75″ long
-Nuts tiny and winged borne in a distinctive persistent cone-like structure
– may be confused with A. serrulata or A. viridis; see left sidebar on Go Botany webpage
-meadows and fields
Go Botany. “Alnus Incana (L.) Moench.” Alnus Incana (Speckled Alder): Go Botany, 2021, gobotany.nativeplanttrust.org/species/alnus/incana/.