Creature Feature: Red Alder

Take a stroll in the Community Forest, and you will find Red Alder’s leafy branches reaching across streams and bordering wetland areas. Known as q’iwh to the Hupa, and Alnus rubra to the scientific community, red alder is a quintessential species of the Pacific Northwest. Alders are easy to identify by their double-serrate leaves. Look closely, and you’ll see that each toothed edge of an alder leaf has a smaller set of teeth running along it. Red alders are an important early-succession forest species, and will quickly colonize an area after fire, logging, or other human disturbance. Their roots also associate with nitrogen-fixing bacteria that help to naturally fertilize the soil. In the Southern and Eastern parts of Humboldt county, you are more likely to encounter White Alder, a closely related species. What is your favorite memory of Alder?

Sources: Wikipedia – Red Alder
Flickr: Gertjan van Noord, Dru!

Image description: On the first slide, the words “Red Alder – Hupa – q’iwh – Alnus rubra” are positioned over an image of a shady alder grove with tall grasses. The second slide contains the species description with an image of green alder leaves in the background.