Herbs & Plants (Spices)

Alnus viridis crispa.

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Botanical Name : Alnus viridis crispa.
Family: Betulaceae
Genus: Alnus
Subgenus: Alnobetula
Species: A. viridis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fagales

Synonyms: Alnus crispa. (Ait.)Pursh. Alnus sinuata.

Common Name: American Green Alder, Sitka Alder

Habitat:Alnus viridis crispa is native to Eastern N. America – Labrador to Alaska and Newfoundland and southwards. It grows on rocky shores, slopes and mountains. Singly or in thickets along streams, lakeshores, coasts, and bog or muskeg margins, or on sandy or gravelly slopes or flats, from sea level to 2000 metres.

Alnus viridis crispa is a large deciduous tree or small Shrub 3–12 m tall with smooth grey bark even in old age. The leaves are shiny green with light green undersurfaces, ovoid, 3–8 cm long and 2–6 cm broad. The flowers are catkins, appearing late in spring after the leaves emerge (unlike other alders which flower before leafing out); the male catkins are pendulous, 4–8 cm long, the female catkins 1 cm long and 0.7 cm broad when mature in late autumn, in clusters of 3–10 on a branched stem. The seeds are small, 1–2 mm long, light brown with a narrow encircling wing……..CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

It is in flower from Apr to May. The flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and are pollinated by Wind.It can fix Nitrogen.

Suitable for: medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay and nutritionally poor soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist or wet soil.
Prefers a heavy soil and a damp situation. Grows well in heavy clay soils. A useful plant for cold damp places. Tolerates lime and very infertile sites. 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.

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. 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. 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.
Edible Uses: …..Catkins – raw or cooked. A bitter taste.

Medicinal Uses:
The bark is astringent, emetic, haemostatic, stomachic and tonic. The bark was burnt as an inhalant in the treatment of rheumatism. The ashes were also used as a tooth cleaner. A decoction of the inner bark has been used as a carminative to reduce gas in the stomach and as a febrifuge. A decoction of the plant has been used in a steam treatment to bring about menstruation – it has been used as an abortifacient. A poultice of the leaves has been used to treat infected wounds or sores. The poultice was left in place over the wound until the leaves stuck to it and was then pulled off, removing the ‘poison’ with it. An infusion of the plant tops was given to children with poor appetites.

Other Uses: An orange-red to brown dye can be obtained from the bark

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


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