Green alder is a large spreading shrub, often forming thickets and occurring across North America; widely distributed from Alaska to Greenland. It is a close relative to the stika alder (Alnus viridus ssp. sinuata) and together these species span the Northern Hemisphere. Green alder is a short-lived 'nurse tree' or pioneer species following glacial retreat, landslides, or man made disturbances. Interestingly, it has a symbiotic relationship with microorganisms that can fix nitrogen from the air.

Leaves are shinny, yellowish green, ovate or broadly elliptic; finely toothed and possibly undulated. Smooth, dark reddish brown twigs are covered with light lenticels. Male and female flowers occur on the same tree and appear from April to May. Like other alders, the fruit is cone-like, starting yellow then turning brown.

The bark has been use medicinally by natives as an astringent, or for tanning leather and dying textiles. Green alder is ecologically valuable as a soil stabilizer for streambanks, as a windbreak, and to improve soil quality in nutrient poor sites.


Fire Effects Information System (FEIS). (n.d.). Alnus viridis subsp. crispa Retrieved from https://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/shrub/alnvirc/all.html

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. (2016). Alnus viridis. Retrieved from https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=alvi5

Oregon State University. (n.d.). Alnus viridis subsp. crispa. Retrieved from https://landscapeplants.oregonstate.edu/plants/alnus-viridis-subsp-crispa#:~:text=crispa,-Alnus%20viridis%20subsp&text=Broadleaf%2C%20deciduous%2C%20large%20spreading%20shrub,lenticels%20(appear%20as%20dots).

Plants For A Future. (2018). Alnus viridis crispa - (Aiton.)Turrill. Retrieved from https://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Alnus+viridis+crispaLatinName=Salix+eriocephala

Tree Canada. (n.d.). Green alder (Alnus viridis ssp. crispa). Retrieved from https://treecanada.ca/resources/trees-of-canada/green-alder-alnus-viridis-ssp-crispa/

United States Department of Agriculture. (n.d.). Stika Alder. Retrieved from https://plants.usda.gov/plantguide/pdf/pg_alvis.pdf

Growing From Seed

Growing from seed is one of the most economical and satisfying ways to build a native plant garden. The table shows brief planting instructions, including how long and what kind of stratification this plant needs. For further information on stratification and seed preparation please refer to our article: Preparing To Grow Wild Plant Seeds

Seeds/Packet Coming soon...
Seeds/Gram Coming soon...
Cost/Gram Price coming soon... For bulk orders (min $20)
Dormancy Treatment Coming soon...
Seeding Instructions Coming soon...

Growing From Plants

Seedlings are a more economical option than established plants and an easier start than growing from seed. Our plants are shipped in soil blocks or plug trays. Plants do surprizingly well in the mail but need special care upon arrival. Please see Planting Mail Order Seedlings for information on how to plant and care for seedlings.


We currently ship within the provinces of British Columbia and Alberta, and it usually takes 2-5 business days in the mail once shipped. Seeds ship year-round. Plants are generally available from May to September and can be reserved during off season; Shipping costs are calculated during checkout. Seed orders over $100 ship free! See Shipping for more details.