Alnus japonica. Photo by Tony Garn

Alnus japonica

Alnus japonica, a deciduous pyramidal tree, this specimen collected in 1987 by Warner and Howick during travels to Hokkaido Province, Japan. The parent plant was found growing at 50 metres near Urahoro. It tolerates wet infertile soils and is a pioneer plant establishing readily gaining a foothold with roots that bear nitrogen fixing nodules promoting soil stabilisation and facilitating a secondary plant community to develop.

The male flowers are set within pendulous catkins and open, shedding pollen. The female scaly brown cones (correctly; strobiles) are still visible on the tree from last year. By now these have shed their seed and are becoming brittle.

Chemical compounds produced in the bark of Alnus japonica have been isolated and found to have an anti viral effect against sub types of avian flu.