Feb. 20, 2021

speckled alder, Alnus incana

Speckled alder is a panboreal shrub, growing from the tree line southward on all northern continents. This was much used by the Indians. The Native American Ethnobotany Database includes 132 citations involving 33 tribes. It was most often used for dye. The bark produces a nice yellow, and other colors in combination with other plants. For example, the Flathead people used it to produce a flaming red hair dye. All parts of the plant were used by someone in some fashion to treat quite some variety of maladies. The wood was used for a number of smaller items, including snowshoes. Could use some right now! Speckled alder grows around wetlands in AK, AZ, CA, CO, CT, IA, ID, IL, IN, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MT, ND, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OR, PA, RI, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV, WY, in all provinces, and on SPM. Midland Co MI, 3/25/12. Birch family, Betulaceae.