E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Alnus viridis subsp. crispa (Chaix) DC. (Aiton) Turrill
green alder (mountain alder)
Betulaceae (Birch family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Virginia Skilton  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #34074)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Alnus viridis subsp. crispa
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Species Information

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Deciduous shrub or tree, 1-5 m tall; pointed axillary buds without stalks; bark scaly, sometimes lichen-covered, yellowish-brown or grey.
Alternate, deciduous, smooth, finely toothed 1-2 times, oval with pointed tips, 4-10 cm long, brownish in the fall.
Inflorescence of male and female catkins which open at the same time as the leaves on current year's growth; male catkins unstalked.
Small nutlets, with broad wings; female cones 1.5-2 cm long, egg-shaped.
Two subspecies occur in BC:

1. Leaf margins shallowly lobed as well as finely saw-toothed..................... ssp. sinuata (Regel) A.& D. Love

1. Leaf margins not at all or only slightly lobed, mostly merely finely saw-toothed..................... ssp. crispa [Ait.] Turrill

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Brown
Present from Summer to Fall
Source:  The USDA

Habitat / Range

Moist slopes, streambanks, avalanche tracks, bogs and fens in all zones; ssp. crispa frequent in N BC, ssp. sinuata common throughout S BC, becoming less frequent and transitional to ssp. crispa in N BC; circumboreal, E to PQ and S to NC, MN, CO and CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Alnus viridis ssp. crispa

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 10 924 2094
Slope Gradient (%) 0 14 83
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 338 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 4 7
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: BWBS(55), CWH(24), ESSF(58), ICH(47), IDF(4), MS(17), SBPS(3), SBS(124), SWB(3)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Alnus hultenii Murai p.p.
Alnus hultenii Murai p.p.
Alnus crispa (Aiton) Pursh
Alnus crispa subsp. crispa
Alnus crispa var. elongata Raup
Alnus crispa var. mollis (Fern.) Fern.
Alnus viridis subsp. fruticosa (Rupr.) Nyman
Alnus viridis var. crispa (Aiton) House
Duschekia viridis (Chaix) Opiz p.p.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References