Smooth Alder (Alnus serrulata)

Shrub
Betula serrulata.
Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Smooth Alder
Alnus serrulata
Betulaceae

Trees have extensive root systems and are sometimes planted on the banks of streams in order to prevent erosion[227].

The wood is soft and brittle, weighing 29lb per cubic foot[227]. It is of little commercial value[229].

  • Medicinal Use

    A tea made from the bark is analgesic, astringent, blood purifier, diuretic, emetic and purgative[4, 222, 257]. It is used in the treatment of diarrhoea, the pain of childbirth, coughs, toothache and sore mouths[222]. Externally, it is used as an eye wash and a wash for hives, poison ivy rash, piles, swellings and sprains[222].

    A decoction of the cones is astringent[4].

  • Edible Use

    None known

  • 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[11]. Tolerates very infertile sites[200]. Requires a position in full sun, dying out when shaded by taller trees[229]. A fast-growing but short-lived tree[229]. This species is closely related to A. rugosa[11]. 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 – Maine to Florida, west to Oklahoma and Indiana.

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.