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Arizona Alder

Alnus oblongifolia

Photo © by Michael Plagens

Photographed along Pinto Creek in Gila Co., Arizona, about 8 km from its confluence with the Salt River/Lake Roosevelt.

Photo © by Michael Plagens

Skelotonized by Chysomelid Beetle larvae.

LEAVES: Deciduous, toothed, simple leaves are alternate on the stem. Veining is prominent.

RANGE: In the Sonoran Desert of Arizona this tree grows only along permanent waterways and then only at the upper elevations of what is generally considered the Sonoran Desert. Uncommon.

TREE: A medium-sized tree with smooth gray bark. Boles generally straight. The roots host the nitrogen-fixing actinomycete Frankia.

FLOWERS: Small, green in short catkins in early spring.

FRUIT:Overlapping papery scales of the catkins give the appearance of a small cone.


Photo © by Michael Plagens
Oblong-elyptic leaf.

Betulaceae -- Birch Family

More Information:

Sonoran Desert Field Guide
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Sonoran Desert Naturalist Home Page


Copyright Michael J. Plagens, 1999-2009