Alnus serrulata, also known as Tag Alder, Black Alder, Hazel Alder, Brook Alder and the list goes on. I planted this as a little baby in 2010 and wow she is taller than me now. *
Alder is a nitrogen fixer, healing reclaimed soils and used in restoration projects (like mine). She likes her feet wet and stabilizes streambanks, keeping soil from washing away with floods and supporting other smaller plants that can take advantage of her stability and protection. *
Many species native to the United States are used as medicine for people as well. Some of the best descriptions in the use of a closely related western plant, Red Alder, have been written by Southwest Herbalists Kiva Rose and Michael Moore. *
This is a plant that I want to get to know this year. I’ve taken her as medicine but not harvested her myself. Astringent, lymphatic and some argue antimicrobial in effect with an affinity for skin and mucus membranes. I’ll keep you posted if I have anything to report.