Plant Details

Alnus serrulata [= Alnus incana, Alnus noveboracensis]

Tag Alder, Hazel Alder, Common Alder, Smooth Alder

Scientific Name:

Alnus serrulata [= Alnus incana, Alnus noveboracensis]

Common Name:

Tag Alder, Hazel Alder, Common Alder, Smooth Alder

Plant Family

Betulaceae (Birch Family)


NC Native



Size in Feet:


Soil Moisture:


Bloom Time:

February - March

Bloom Area:

Statewide (Mountains, Piedmont, Coast)

Habitat Description:

Streambanks, bogs, wet thickets

State Rank:

No NC Rank Listed (*)

Global Rank:

No Global Rank listed (*)

State Status:

No NC Status Listed (*)

Federal Status:

No U.S. Status Listed (*)

Summer leaves and fruit


Jack Spruill, Hampstead, July 2010

Alders are nitrogen-fixing and can be used to reclaim barren ground. Although they can become small trees, Tag Alders are most often shrubs.

Male Catkins with the small female flowers above.

Both the male catkins and the female flowers form in fall and open very early in spring, mostly before the leaves come out.


Jack Spruill, Hampstead, Jan, 2009

Cone-like fruits

Fruits persist in winter and, along with the persistent catkins, make a good ID mark.


Jack Spruill, Hampstead, Feb. 2009

Catkins in the snow

I think it is exciting to see early blooming plants buck the season and bloom in Jan and Feb - Jack Spruill


Jack Spruill, Hampstead, Feb 13, 2010


USDA PLANTS Database Record

Bird-Friendly Native Plants

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