West Highland Flora

Alder


Alnus glutinosa

 

Alnus glutinosa

Photo Carl Farmer
26 Sep 2003 Portree, Skye

Frequent in woods and scrub and beside burns

Tree c 10-30 m tall.  Leaves c 3-9 cm long on stalk c 1-3 cm.  Male catkins c 1-6 cm, female cones c 0.5-3 cm.

ID: Purple buds (see pic below) diagnostic.  The cones (2nd pic below) are also unique to this tree.  Can be id'd from leaves as follows: leaves toothed, about as long as broad, many of them with a shallow notch at the tip, the others flat there.

Other features: Twigs have stalked side-buds.  Male and female catkins present all winter, opening in Feb-Mar. The male ones then drop off but the female ripen into cones which release the seeds in autumn but may remain on the tree for much longer.

 

Alnus glutinosa

Photo Carl Farmer
18 Oct 2003 Portree, Skye

Underside of leaves and characteristic purple bud

 

Alnus glutinosa

Photo Carl Farmer
26 Sep 2003 Scorrybreac, Skye
Male catkin (narrow, purple, in centre) 15mm long
 

Female cones, with one male catkin and several female catkins (small,
round, further back on same twig as male)

 

Alnus glutinosa

Photo Carl Farmer
21 Oct 2003 Portree, Skye

Silhouette in Autumn shows catkins and cones
on bare twigs

  Alnus glutinosa

Photo Carl Farmer
8 Mar 2004 Portree, Skye

Spring catkins

 

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