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Black Alder (Alnus glutinosa)
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[[{{{domain}}}]] > [[{{{superregnum}}}]] > Plantae > [[{{{subregnum}}}]] > [[{{{superdivisio}}}]] > [[{{{superphylum}}}]] > Magnoliophyta > [[{{{phylum}}}]] > [[{{{subdivisio}}}]] > [[{{{subphylum}}}]] > [[{{{infraphylum}}}]] > [[{{{microphylum}}}]] > [[{{{nanophylum}}}]] > [[{{{superclassis}}}]] > Magnoliopsida > [[{{{subclassis}}}]] > [[{{{infraclassis}}}]] > [[{{{superordo}}}]] > Fagales > [[{{{subordo}}}]] > [[{{{infraordo}}}]] > [[{{{superfamilia}}}]] > Betulaceae > [[{{{subfamilia}}}]] > [[{{{supertribus}}}]] > [[{{{tribus}}}]] > [[{{{subtribus}}}]] > [[{{{genus}}}]] {{{subgenus}}} {{{sectio}}} {{{series}}} {{{species}}} {{{subspecies}}} var. {{{cultivar}}}

Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture

Betulaceae (from the genus Betula, the ancient Latin name of the birch). Birch Family. Fig. 15. Trees or shrubs: leaves alternate, simple, mostly pinnately parallel-veined: flowers monoecious, regular, much reduced; the staminate in slender catkins; the pistillate in short spikes, rarely in flexuous catkins or geminate; 3 flowers, rarely by reduction 2 or 1 flower behind each bract; perianth of the staminate flower single, 2-4-lobed or 0; stamens 2-10: perianth of the pistillate flower absent in Betula and Alnus, in other genera an epigynous crown of several tiny scales; ovary inferior, originally 2-celled and each cell 1-ovuled, but only one cell and 1 seed maturing; stigmas 2: fruit an indehiscent nutlet, often winged; either separating from the bract and bracteoles (Alnus, Betula), or falling with them, in which case these organs form a protective involucre (Corylus), or a winged or bladdery organ concerned in seed-dissemination (Carpinus, Ostrya); seeds anatropous, exalbuminous.

Six genera and about 75 species inhabit the extra-tropical northern hemisphere; many are arctic, some of which are creeping. Fossil species are known. The family is related to the Fagaceae and other amentiferous families. The pistillate flowers in spikes, the presence of a perianth in one or the other sex, the cymose group of flowers for each bract, the 2 carpels, and the single integument of the seed are characteristic.

The wood of Alnus and Betula is prized by wagon-makers, cabinet-makers and turners; charcoal for gunpowder is made from this wood. The twigs of Betula are made into brooms. The bark of Betula papyrifera strips off in thin plates and is used for making canoes and for writing-paper. The very thin bark-layers of B. Bhojpattra of India also furnish writing-paper. Vinegar and beer are made from the sugary sap of Betula, which is also considered an efficient antiscorbutic. The bark of Alnus and Betula is used in tanning Russia leather, and other kinds. Hazelnuts are the fruit of Corylus; filberts of Corylus Avellana. Oil of betula has a flavor like wintergreen. The wood of Ostrya is very hard and prized for beetles. The wood of all the Betulaceae is good for firewood.

Several genera are in cultivation in America for ornament or for the fruit (Corylus) such as: Alnus (Alder); Betula (Birch); Carpinus (Hornbeam Tree, Blue Beech, Water Beech); Corylus (Hazel, Filbert, Cobnut); and Ostrya (Hop Hornbeam, Ironwood, Leverwood).CH

The above text is from the Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture. It may be out of date, but still contains valuable and interesting information which can be incorporated into the remainder of the article. Click on "Collapse" in the header to hide this text.



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