Alder Tree Names and Types of Alnus Species

Picture of a Alder Tree
Alder Tree Bark of Alnus incana
Bark of the Grey Alder Tree (Alnus incana)

The genus Alnus (Alder) belongs to the birch family (Family Betulaceae). This genus is comprised of about 30 species of monoecious Alder trees (of which only a few reach a large size) and shrubs.

All Alder tree species are deciduous. They have flowers that are called catkins with elongated male catkins on the same plant as the shorter wider female catkins. They are often visible before leaves appear, and they are mainly wind pollinated. They differ from birches (Betula, the most similar genus) in that the female catkins are woody and do not disintegrate at maturity, opening to release the seeds in a similar manner to many conifer cones.

The largest Alder species are Red Alder (Alnus rubra) on the west coast of North America and Black Alder (Alnus glutinosa), native to most of Europe and widely introduced elsewhere, both reaching over 30m or 90ft tall. However, the widespread Green Alder (Alnus viridis) is more of a shrub than a tree, rarely reaching 5m or 15ft.

Facts about the Alnus Genus of Trees
  • Genus Latin Scientific Name = Alnus.
  • Genus Latin Name Pronunciation: AL-nus
  • Genus Latin Name Meaning: The ancient Latin name for the Alder tree.
  • Genus Common Names = Alder. List of Alder Vernacular Names
  • Number of Taxa in the Alnus Genus = 31
List of Alder Trees, Alnus Genus - All known species, taxa types, organized by scientific Latin botanical name first and common names second
List of Alder Tree Species Names
Botanical Tree NameCommon Tree Name
Alnus acuminata Andean Alder
Alnus cordata Italian Alder
Alnus cremastogyneLong Peduncled Alder
Alnus firma Kyūshū
Alnus formosana Formosan Alder, Formosa Alder
Alnus fruticosa Siberian Alder
Alnus glutinosa Black Alder, European Alder, Common Alder
Alnus incana Grey Alder
Alnus incana ssp. hirsuta Manchurian Alder
Alnus incana ssp. oblongifolia Arizona Alder
Alnus incana ssp. rugosa Speckled Alder
Alnus incana ssp. tenuifolia Thinleaf Alder, Mountain Alder
Alnus japonica Japanese Alder
Alnus jorullensis Mexican Alder
Alnus mandshurica ¡ ?
Alnus maritima Seaside Alder
Alnus matsumurae Honshu (Japan)
Alnus nepalensis Nepalese Alder
Alnus nitida Himalayan Alder
Alnus oblongifolia
(syn. Alnus incana ssp. oblongifolia)
Arizona Alder
Alnus orientalis Oriental Alder, Syrian Alder
Alnus pendula ¡ ?
Alnus rhombifolia White Alder
Alnus rubra Red Alder
Alnus serrulata Hazel Alder, Tag Alder, Smooth Alder
Alnus sieboldiana (オオバヤシャブシ in Japanese)
Alnus subcordata Caucasian Alder
Alnus trabeculosa ¡ ?
Alnus viridis Green Alder
Alnus viridis ssp. crispa Mountain Alder
Alnus viridis ssp. fruticosa Siberian Alder
Alnus viridis ssp. sinuata Sitka Alder, Slide Alder
Alnus viridis ssp. viridis Eurasian Alder
Alder seed catkins cones
Alder seed catkins (cones) of Alnus incana

List of Alder Vernacular Names

English: Alder
Brezhoneg: Gwern
Česky: Olše
Dansk: Elle, El-slægten
Deutsch: Erlen
Eesti: Lepp
Español: Aliso
Esperanto: Alno
Euskara: Haltz
Français: Aulne
한국어: 오리나무속
Íslenska: Elri
Italiano: Ontano
ქართული: მურყანი
Latviešu: Alkšņi
Lietuvių: Alksnis
Limburgs: Aels
Македонски: Евла
Nāhuatl: Īlītl
Nederlands: Els
Nedersaksies: Elze
日本語: ハンノキ属
Nordfriisk: Elern
Norsk (bokmål)‎: Orer
Norsk (nynorsk)‎: Or
Polski: Olsza
Português: Amieiro
Runa Simi: Ramran
Русский: Ольха
Slovenčina: Jelša
Српски / srpski: Јова
Suomi: Lepät
Svenska: Alar
Türkçe: Kızılağaç
Українська: Вільха
Vèneto: Ònaro/Òner
中文: 赤杨