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American Green Alder (Alnus viridis crispa)

A. crispa. (Ait.)Pursh. A. sinuata.
Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
American Green Alder
Alnus viridis crispa

An orange-red to brown dye can be obtained from the bark[257].

  • Medicinal Use

    The bark is astringent, emetic, haemostatic, stomachic and tonic[172]. The bark was burnt as an inhalant in the treatment of rheumatism[257]. The ashes were also used as a tooth cleaner[257].

    A decoction of the inner bark has been used as a carminative to reduce gas in the stomach and as a febrifuge[257].

    A decoction of the plant has been used in a steam treatment to bring about menstruation – it has been used as an abortifacient[257].

    A poultice of the leaves has been used to treat infected wounds or sores[257]. The poultice was left in place over the wound until the leaves stuck to it and was then pulled off, removing the ‘poison’ with it[257].

    An infusion of the plant tops was given to children with poor appetites[257].

  • Edible Use

    Catkins – raw or cooked. A bitter taste[172].

  • Cautionary Notes

    None known

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe and only just covered[200]. Spring sown seed should also germinate successfully so long as it is not covered[200, K]. The seed should germinate in the spring as the weather warms up. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots. If growth is sufficient, it is possible to plant them out into their permanent positions in the summer, otherwise keep them in pots outdoors and plant them out in the spring. If you have sufficient quantity of seed, it can be sown thinly in an outdoor seed bed in the spring[78]. The seedlings can either be planted out into their permanent positions in the autumn/winter, or they can be allowed to grow on in the seed bed for a further season before planting them. Cuttings of mature wood, taken as soon as the leaves fall in autumn, outdoors in sandy soil.
Prefers a heavy soil and a damp situation[1, 11]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. A useful plant for cold damp places[11]. Tolerates lime and very infertile sites[11, 200]. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil micro-organisms, these form nodules on the roots of the plants and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[200].
Eastern N. America – Labrador to Alaska and Newfoundland and southwards.

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.