Alnus incana, SE: Gråal, DE: Grau-Erle,
NL: Witte els, UK: Grey Alder, Speckled Alder

Scientific name:  Alnus incana (L.) Moench
Swedish name:  Gråal
German name:  Grau-Erle
Nederlandse naam:  Witte els
English name:   Grey Alder, Speckled Alder
Family:  Betulaceae, Birch Family, Björkväxter

Sweden, Ragunda, Flowers

Life form:  Deciduous shrubs, fast-growing but short-lived tree; to 10 m tall, thicket-forming, with open crowns, smooth bark
Leaves:  Elliptic to ovate, 4-11 cm long, 3-8 cm wide, broadest near or below middle, doubly and irregularly toothed, with 9-12 nearly straight, parallel veins on each side, with a ladder-like network of depressed veins, pointed, dull dark green above, pointed
Flowers:  Unisexual catkins, borne separately, but on the same tree (the species monoecious). The seed catkins are cone-like, cylindric to ovoid, 1-2 cm long, erect, sessile or on a short, stout stalk, generally remaining intact after release of fruits in spring. The pollen catkins are elongate, 2-7 cm long, in hanging clusters from near the shoot tip.
Flowering Period:  March, April, May, on bare twig
Habitat:  Woodland, Canopy, Bog Garden

Sweden, Flowers, Send flowers, nature

Derivation of the botanical name:
Alnus, the classical Latin name.
incanus, very gray, hoary.
Alder from Middle Englishaller, from Old English alor, from Proto-Germanic aluz, akin to Old Norse ǫlr.
speckled in reference to the numerous lenticels covering the bark.
  • The standard author abbreviation L. is used to indicate Carl Linnaeus (1707 – 1778), a Swedish botanist, physician, and zoologist, the father of modern taxonomy.
  • The standard author abbreviation Moensch is used to indicate Conrad Moench (1744 – 1805), a German botanist.

The catkins are mainly wind-pollinated, but also visited by bees to a small extent.

Flora of Sweden online, Native plants, Sverige

Vilda blommor i Sverige