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Mountain Alder

Scientific Name:

Alnus incana tenuifolia




Riparian and other moist environments between 4,500 and 8,000 feet in elevation


Western United States


Least Concern (IUCN Red List) [gray alder species]

This species is


to the Truckee Meadows.


Mountain alders, a subspecies of gray alder (Alnus incana), are tall deciduous shrubs or small trees that grow about 20 tall. Mountain alders have smooth, grey bark and dark-green leaves that are oval-shaped, come to a point, and have serrated edges. These trees have purple flowers that bloom in spring. Mountain alders can be found near or on the banks of creeks, rivers, or other moist environments.

Fast Facts:

  • Alders are considered "monoecious" (latin for one house), meaning both the male and female reproductive structures exist on the same plant. The male catkins (cylindrical flower clusters) are long and skinny and produce the pollen whereas the female catkins look like tiny pine cones.

  • Mountain alders are predominantly found in sandy and moist types of soil.

  • Mountain alders are also known as thinleaf alders.



Brianna Raggio (research, content, & photo)

Alex Shahbazi (edits & page design)

Last Updated:

April 21, 2021 at 12:21:19 AM

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