Short Female & Long Male Catkins of Smooth Alder

Alnus serrulata

Smooth Alder (Alnus serrulata)

Family: Birch (Betulaceae)
– Type: Deciduous, multi-stemmed shrub
– Native Range: Eastern North America
– Sun: Full sun to light shade
– Location: Burlington, NC
– Forage: Pollen and some nectar.
Smooth alder flowers early in February in the Piedmont and produces abundant pollen in late winter that honey bees gather and feed to developing brood. The flowers are monoecious, meaning that both sexes are found on a single plant. Male (Staminate) catkins are 1.6-2.4 in long; reddish-green female (Pistillate) catkins are 1/2 in long. Alders produce nitrogen by the activity of nitrogen-fixing bacteria located in root nodules.