Alphabetical Plant Listing

Alnus serrulata (Smooth Alder)

Smooth Alder, Hazel Alder, Brookside Alder, Tag Alder, Common Alder, Black Alder, Alnus incana var. serrulata, Alnus noveboracensis, Alnus serrulata var. subelliptica


Most attractive, Alnus serrulata (Smooth Alder) is a large, spreading deciduous shrub or small tree of pyramidal habit with a densely branched canopy. Its multi-stemmed trunks are covered with shiny gray-brown bark. The foliage of undulating, elliptic to obovate, glossy green leaves, 2-4 in. long (5-10 cm), turns yellow-brown in the fall. In early to mid spring, long, pendant, pale yellow male catkins, 4 in. long (10 cm), dangle like Christmas decorations near the bare branch tips. The catkins release clouds of pollen that attract bees and other insects. Inconspicuous female flowers in the form of tiny red-purple tassels bloom in clusters at the twig tips. They are followed by small, dark brown, fruiting cones, 1 in. long (2.5 cm), containing winged seeds (nutlets). Resembing miniature pine cones, they persist on the twigs for up to a year for a unique and lovely display - to the delight of birds. Smooth Alder is a suckering plant forming thickets that become an effective choice for erosion control. Adaptable to drier soils as well as flooding, it is a great plant for naturalizing along stream banks, rivers or pond margins. Smooth Alder fixes nitrogen and thus serve as nutrient-giving pioneer in reclamation projects. An intermediate source of food for wildlife, Alders support 255 species of caterpillars as well as many sawfly larvae. This allows a grove of Alder to provide food and shelter for wintering birds, breeding birds, and migrant birds.

  • Grows up to 10-20 ft. high (3-6 m) and 12-15 ft. wide (3-5 m).
  • Performs best in full sun in moist to wet soils. Tolerates some shade but full sun is best. Tolerates clay soils, poor soils and seasonal flooding.
  • Great choice along ponds and streams and other moist to wet areas of the landscape, including bog gardens, swamp borders, or wet meadows.
  • No serious pest or disease issues. Keep an eye out for canker, powdery mildew, leaf curl, aphids, leaf miners, tent caterpillars, lace bugs and flea beetles.
  • Propagate by seed. Seeds could be planted immediately after harvest, but stratification improves germination.
  • Native to eastern North America and can be found from western Nova Scotia and southern New Brunswick south to Florida and Texas.

Buy Alnus serrulata (Smooth Alder)

Requirements

Hardiness 4 – 9
Plant Type Shrubs, Trees
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 10' – 20' (3m – 6m)
Spread 8' – 15' (240cm – 4.5m)
Water Needs Average, High
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Moisture Retentive, Poorly Drained
Characteristics Showy, Fruit & Berries
Native Plants United States, Midwest, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Ohio, Northeast, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Southeast, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Southwest, Oklahoma, Texas
Tolerance Clay Soil, Wet Soil
Attracts Birds
Garden Uses Ponds and Streams
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow

Buy Plants


Gabriela Beres, Shutterstock

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 4 – 9
Plant Type Shrubs, Trees
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 10' – 20' (3m – 6m)
Spread 8' – 15' (240cm – 4.5m)
Water Needs Average, High
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Moisture Retentive, Poorly Drained
Characteristics Showy, Fruit & Berries
Native Plants United States, Midwest, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Ohio, Northeast, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Southeast, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Southwest, Oklahoma, Texas
Tolerance Clay Soil, Wet Soil
Attracts Birds
Garden Uses Ponds and Streams
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow

Plant Calculator

How many Alnus serrulata (Smooth Alder) do I need for my garden?

%
ft
ft

Your Shopping List

Plant Quantity
Alnus serrulata (Smooth Alder)

Find your Hardiness Zone

Find your Climate Zone

Find your Heat Zone

Join Gardenia.net

Create a membership account to save your garden designs and to view them on any device.

Becoming a contributing member of Gardenia is easy and can be done in just a few minutes. If you provide us with your name, email address and the payment of a modest $25 annual membership fee, you will become a full member, enabling you to design and save up to 25 of your garden design ideas.

Join now and start creating your dream garden!

Create a New Collection

Optional. For your reference.


Move Selected Plants to a Different Collection


Delete Collection

This field is required.