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

Alnus incana (L.) Moench
Speckled Alder (gray alder; mountain alder)
Betulaceae (Birch family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Bryan Kelly-McArthur  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #87493)

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Distribution of Alnus incana
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Alnus incana ssp. tenuifolia

Species Information

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Deciduous shrub or tree, up to 12 m tall, usually 2-5 m tall, new growth short-hairy; axillary buds with short stalks; bark scaly, often lichen-covered, yellowish-brown or grey.
Alternate, deciduous, smooth, coarsely to irregularly toothed, the teeth pointing outwards, leaf margins not rolled under, brownish in the fall.
Inflorescence of male and female catkins, which open before the leaves on previous year's growth; male catkins with stalks.
Small nutlets, without wings; female cones 1-1.5 cm long, egg-shaped.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

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

Habitat / Range

Moist forests, streamsides, bogs and fens in the montane zone; common in BC east of the Coast-Cascade Mountains; N to AK, YT and NT, E to SK, and S to NM, AZ and CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Alnus incana

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) 7 879 2060
Slope Gradient (%) 0 7 205
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 24 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 5 8
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: BG(20), BWBS(335), CWH(17), ESSF(111), ICH(446), IDF(215), MH(1), MS(207), PP(15), SBPS(35), SBS(675), SWB(1)

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Alnus tenuifolia Nutt.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References