Botanical name: Ain us glutin osa
Common names: Aides Common aides black aides European alder
- Native tree. Mature tree can reach up to 20m in height. Dark bark. Young twigs sticky to touch.
- Leaves: racquet-shaped and leathery with serrated edges.
- Flowers: on catkins (February-April). Both females and male flowers found in the same tree. Male catkins yellow and pendulous (2-6cm). Clusters of 3-8 green oval female catkins on each stalk
- Fruits: Female catkins become woody and appear as small cone-like fruits in winter and stay on the tree all year around.
- Alder improves soil fertility: Symbiotic relationship with a nitrogen-fixing bacterium in root noodles. The bacterium absorbs nitrogen from the aii; making it available to the tree.
- Green dye from flowers used to colour and camouflage clothes of outlaws like Robin Hood. It was also thought to be the colour fairies’ clothes.
- Wood used in construction
- Colour: Soft browns, pinks: mid-autumn-spring; with iron mordant: pale grey
- Parts used/ForagingSeason: mini pinecones. All year
Smallholding: Next to pond. Front garden of the museum