Montana Outdoors

June 9, 2011

Alder

Filed under: Montana, Outdoors — Tags: , — montucky @ 11:43 pm

It grows in disturbed areas, sometimes where other shrubs cannot establish themselves. I’ve seen dense thickets of it cover old forest roads, establish itself on burned hillsides and provide green growth in avalanche tracks.

I know that it improves soil fertility by fixing atmospheric nitrogen in nodules on its roots.

I’ve had it make me extremely uncomfortable when I had to push my way through its dense growth that completely covered a back country trail while hoping that the bear who left a fresh pile of scat and minutes-old tracks on the trail was not still in its almost impenetrable thicket.

Yet it was only recently that I realized that there is also beauty to be found in the tiny flowers in its long and drooping male catkins.

Sitka Alder

Sitka Alder ~ Alnus viridis 6/5

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