Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Northeast Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Alnus maritima (Marsh.) Nutt.
- Family: Birch (Betulaceae)
- Flowering: August-September
- Field Marks: This species flowers in the autumn. The "cones" are 1-1 1/2 inches long, borne
on stalks at least as long.
- Habitat: Along streams, around ponds.
- Habit: Shrub or small tree to 30 feet tall, the bark usually reddish brown at maturity.
- Twigs: Reddish brown, with orange lenticels, hairy when young but becoming smooth; buds short-stalked.
- Leaves: Alternate, simple, dark green, oblong to ovate, tapering to a point at the tip, rounded or tapering to the base, remotely fine-toothed, glandular-dotted on the lower surface, not hairy, up to 4 inches long with curved veins, with a stalk nearly 1 inch long.
- Flowers: Male and female flowers bome separately, but on the same plant, the male flowers 3 in a cluster and subtended by 4-5 bractlets, all in a slender spike up to 3 inches long, the female in 2-3 ovoid spikes in a cluster, each spike up to 1 inch long, borne on long stalks.
- Sepals: 3-5, minute, green, united to each other, or absent.
- Petals: 0.
- Stamens: 3-5.
- Pistils: Ovary inferior.
- Fruits: Many nutlets aggregated into a "cone," with each nutlet subtended by a woody bract, the nutlets very narrowly winged, ovoid, 1/8-1/6 inch long.
- Notes: Gleason and Cronquist report this species from Oklahoma, as well.
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