Alnus acuminata
Alnus acuminata 4.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Fagales
Family: Betulaceae
Genus: Alnus
A. acuminata
Binomial name
Alnus acuminata
  • Betula arguta Schltdl.
  • Alnus arguta (Schltdl.) Spach
  • Alnus pringlei Fernald
  • Alnus ovalifolia Bartlett
  • Alnus guatemalensis Gand.
  • Alnus glabrata Fernald

Alnus acuminata is a species of deciduous tree in the Betulaceae family. It is found in montane forests from central Mexico to Argentina.[2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9]


Leaves and male inflorescences of Alnus acuminata

Alnus acuminata grows up to 25 metres (80 ft) tall with a straight trunk up to 150 centimetres (60 in) thick. The bark has many yellowish lenticels. The leaves are simple, oval with toothed margins. The inflorescences are catkins, separate male and female flowers on the same tree. The male flowers are up to 12 cm (5 in) long and pendulous, while the smaller female flowers are green, erect and resemble a small cone. After wind fertilisation, the female flowers develop into 2 cm (0.8 in) long dehiscent, woody brown fruits. There are 80 to 100 winged seeds per fruit, and these are liberated when ripe, leaving the dried out fruit husks on the tree.[10]

There are three subspecies: Alnus acuminata subsp. acuminata occurs from Colombia and Venezuela south to northern Argentina; Alnus acuminata subsp. arguta (Schltdl.) Furlow occurs from northwestern Mexico south to Panama; and Alnus acuminata subsp. glabrata (Fernald) Furlow occurs in central and southern Mexico.[11]

Distribution and habitat

Alnus acuminata grows at altitudes between 1,500 and 3,200 metres (4,900 and 10,500 ft) in the mountain ranges in tropical Central and South America from Mexico to northern Argentina. It mostly grows on areas with 1000–3000 mm of rainfall, on slopes and valleys. It tolerates poor soils and acid conditions, but prefers silt or sandy silt soils.[10] It is a fast-growing tree, a pioneer species used for watershed protection and can be used for soil improvement because it has root nodules that fix nitrogen.[12]


The timber is light to mid reddish-brown and fine grained. It is used for building bridges and pilings, for making coffins, boxes, crates, furniture and plywood. It also makes a good firewood that burns steadily.[12]


  1. ^ Roy, S.; Shaw, K.; Wilson, B.; Rivers, M.C. (2016). "Alnus acuminata". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2016: e.T32025A2808218. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-1.RLTS.T32025A2808218.en. Retrieved 17 November 2021.
  2. ^ Hokche, O., Berry, P.E. & Huber, O. (eds.) (2008). Nuevo Catálogo de la Flora Vascular de Venezuela: 1-859. Fundación Instituto Botánico de Venezuela.
  3. ^ Berendsohn, W.G., A. K. Gruber & J. A. Monterrosa Salomón. 2009. Nova silva cuscatlanica. Árboles nativos e introducidos de El Salvador. Parte 1: Angiospermae - Familias A a L. Englera 29(1): 1–438.
  4. ^ CONABIO. 2009. Catálogo taxonómico de especies de México. 1. In Capital Nat. México. CONABIO, Mexico City
  5. ^ Furlow, J. J. 1977. Family 49, Betulaceae. In Burger, W. (Ed.), Flora Costaricensis. Fieldiana: Botany. 40: 56–58.
  6. ^ Idárraga-Piedrahita, A., R. D. C. Ortiz, R. Callejas Posada & M. Merello. (eds.) 2011. Flora de Antioquia: Catálogo de las Plantas Vasculares 2: 9–939. Universidad de Antioquia, Medellín
  7. ^ López Vargas, A. 1995. Estudio de Vegetación de las Partes Sud y Sudoeste de las Provincias Mizque y Campero --- Cochabamba, i–vi, 1–152. Tesis Universidad Mayor de San Simón, Cochabamba
  8. ^ Vargas Caballero, I. G., A. Lawrence & M. Eid. 2000. Árboles y arbustos para sistemas agroforestales en los Valles Interandinos de Santa Cruz 1–145. Fundación Amigos de la Naturaleza, Santa Cruz
  9. ^ Zuloaga, F. O., O. N. Morrone, M. J. Belgrano, C. Marticorena & E. Marchesi. (eds.) 2008. Catálogo de las plantas vasculares del Cono Sur. Monographs in systematic botany from the Missouri Botanical Garden 107(1–3): i–xcvi, 1–3348.
  10. ^ a b Salazar, Rodolfo (2000-09-30). "Alnus acuminata spp. argutta (Schlecht.) Farlow" (PDF). Seed leaflet. Copenhagen University. Retrieved 2015-08-08.
  11. ^ Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
  12. ^ a b Firewood Crops: Shrub and Tree Species for Energy Production. National Academies. 1980. p. 76. NAP:14438.

External links