Speckled Alder (Alnus rugosa)



Speckled Alder is a small tree with a shrub-form that grows to a height of about 2 to 4 metres. It often has a multi-stemmed trunk, and spreads to form large impenetrable clumps that provide food and shelter for game-birds and other wildlife. It is a fast-growing species that colonizes clearings in the woods and does not tolerate shade. It is common along sunny stream banks and other wet areas, as it prefers moist soils. Speckled alder is an important species to plant for stabilizing shorelines and restoring stream banks. Its presence creates a build-up of fallen leaves and other debris, and enriches the soil. Native peoples had many uses for the bark, which contains salicin, a compound similar to aspirin.