Grey alder is a small tree that grows along the banks of Rattlesnake Creek and the Clark Fork. Although they need regular water to establish, alder tolerates periodic dry-down and is a good option for a rain garden or someplace where it receives extra runoff from a downspout or roof eave.
If you are fortunate enough to have waterfront, this species is a valuable bank stabilizer and provides quality nesting habitat. Plants along waterways will often grow taller, possibly to 25’. Ones in drier or shadier sites will remain shrub-like, usually with multiple stems. Additionally, alders are nitrogen fixers, meaning they pull nitrogen from the atmosphere into the soil. This makes them a good restoration species for highly disturbed soils.
- Alnus incana