Glossy heart-like leaves and the persistent brown seed fruits make Italian alder a great shade tree with multi-season interest and grace. An upright deciduous tree that does not get too wide, it hails from southern Italy and Corsica. Its barks becomes light gray-sandy brown with shallow fissures and small plates, often blotched.
In early spring this tree flowers. The male flowers are in drooping, finger-like clusters called catkins and are yellow-green. The female flower are small and red and occur along the twigs. After wind pollination, the green cylindrical fruits form and ripen to a red-brown before shedding the seeds. The dried fruits persist on the branches into fall and winter. No notable fall leaf coloration occurs, but the foliage is only briefly deciduous, a plus in warm winter climates where some shade is always welcome.
Grow Italian alder in average garden soils that are moist to wet, or average well-draining. It is adaptable to acidic and alkaline soils as long as it has some fertility.
This species is fast growing and also works well as a windbreak in addition to being a specimen shade tree for park or avenue. Its tolerance for occasionally floods makes it a good choice for along streams or retention ponds.
Information source: http://learn2grow.com/plants/alnus-cordata/
Genus - Alnus
Species - Cordata
Common name - Italian Alder
Pre-Treatment - Required
Hardiness zones - 6 - 9
Height - 10 - 18 m
Spread - 6 - 8 m
Plant type - Tree
Vegetation type - Deciduous
Exposure - Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade
Growth rate - Fast
Soil PH - Acid, neutral
Soil type - Clay, Loam, Sand
Water requirements - Average, high
Landscape uses - Feature Plant, Shade Trees, Street Trees
Bloom season - March - April
Leaf / Flower color - Green / Red, Yellow-red
Seeds of alder requires 30-60 days cold moist stratification for best germination.
mix together equal amounts of sand and peat in a small container and moisten it with a little water. Mix the seeds in the medium and place it in the fridge at +2-+4C.
Keep the medium moist throughout the stratification period.
After stratification sow on surface, keep moist at room temperature in the light place.
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