The Smooth Alder (Alnus serrulata) collected by MGEV R. Guillory has multiple life stages on a single branch. In the image below, you will see this year’s male flowers (catkins) starting to produce yellow pollen. As you move down the branch, you will see tiny reddish female flowers that will produce small cones later in the year. At the base, you see last years cones (“fruit”) that have opened to release tons of tiny seeds. Next time you are out walking, see if you can find the smooth alder and all these different stages in person.

Smooth Alder showing multiple life stages (catkins, flowers, and last years cones)

Thank you to R. Guillory for sharing this find of the month for February.

If you find something fun to share, please feel free to bring it in to our office for feature in March. Finds of the month will be posted on the first Wednesday of the month starting in March.

Kim Toal, is the Fayette County Extension Coordinator and Agent for Agriculture and Natural Resources. For more information on gardening in Fayette County, contact Fayette County Extension at 770-305-5412 or online at

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