Hazel Alder
Alnus serrulata (Ait.) Willd. (Corylaceae)

Common Names
Hazel alder, alder, American alder, black alder, candle alder, common alder, green alder, notch-leaved alder, red alder, smooth alder, speckled alder, swamp alder, tag alder.

Description
A shrub or small tree 4 to 25 feet in height with smooth, brownish-gray bark, which is strongly aromatic. The finely sawtoothed leaves are somewhat leathery, 2 to 4 inches long, oval in shape, and broadest at the middle. Male flowers are borne in drooping catkins, female flowers in small, erect, oval cone-like catkins that turn hard and woody and remain on the shrub throughout winter.

Flowering Period
February to May.

Habitat
Swamps, wet woods, stream margins, and moist areas.

Harvest
Bark of stems in early spring or late fall.

Uses
The bark has been used as an alterative and the powdered drug as an opthalmiatric. In Appalachia, the chewed bark is used to treat wounds and ulcers. The bark has also been used for brown dye.

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