West Himalayan Alder
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West Himalayan Alder
ative Photo: Naseeb Kumar Bhagat
Common name: West Himalayan Alder • Hindi: koi, kosh, kunis, kunish, nyun, piak • Nepali: उतिस Utis
Botanical name: Alnus nitida    Family: Betulaceae (Birch family)
Synonyms: Clethropsis nitida

West Himalayan Alder is a deciduous tree 20 m or more tall. Young shoots are velvety, becoming hairless when old. Leaves are elliptic to elliptic- ovate, 5-15 cm x 3-9 cm, pointed or long-pointed, remotely toothed to regularly toothed, velvety to hairy. Leaf base is narrow cuneate to rounded, leaf-stalk is 1-4 cm long. Male flowers are borne in catkins, up to 19 cm long. The stalk carrying the catkin is 5-6.5 mm long. Female flowers arise in erect, mostly solitary ‘woody cones’, 3-3.5 cm x about 1.2 cm; bract broadly ovate, bracteoles suborbiculate. Nut 2.5-4 mm long, fringed by the narrow and more or less leathery wings. West Himalayan Alder is found in the Himalayas, from Kashmir to W. Nepal, at altitudes of 1000-2700 m. Flowering: September-October.

Identification credit: Amit Kumar, Naseeb Photographed in Mahore, Jammu &Kashmir & Botanical Survey of India, Dehradun.

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