Alnus rhombifolia

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Botanical Name: Alnus rhombifolia
Common Name: White Alder

This tree can be heat and wind tolerant, but needs deep watering to establish. High wildlife value, nitrogen-fixing, provides nice shade. A larval food plant for the Western Tiger Swallowtail. Roots can be invasive--plant away from water lines.

Plant Family: Betulaceae
Plant Type: Tree
Height by Width: 60' H x 40' W
Growth Habit: Upright and tall; branches spreading
Deciduous/Evergreen: Winter deciduous
Growth Rate: Fast
Sun Exposure: Full to part sun
Soil Preference: Adaptable
Water Requirements: Moderate to regular
Cold Hardy to: 8,000'
Flower Season: Spring
Flower Color: Green catkins
Endangered?: Not Listed
Distribution: California Floristic Province, Modoc Plateau, to Washington and Idaho.
Natural Habitat: Along permanent streams. Elevation: 300-8000'.

Songbird iconA.jpg Butterfly iconA.jpg Clay iconA.jpg Slope iconA.jpg

Care and Maintenance

  • Introduced into cultivation in California by Theodore Payne.
  • From California Native Plants, Theodore Payne's 1941 catalog: "A very attractive deciduous tree, thriving best in loose soil with a fair amount of moisture. If given room makes a well branched symmetrical tree providing delightful shade. Of rapid growth. Gallon cans, 50c; 5 gallon cans, $1.75."
Other Names
  • Bornstein, Carol, David Fross, and Bart O'Brien. California Native Plants for the Garden. Los Olivos, CA: Cachuma Press. 2005.