Within the Alnus acuminata article...

subsp. acuminata Andean Alder, Aliso

Tree to 25 m, to 1 m dbh; often multistemmed, rarely shrubby or prostrate. Branchlets dull or lustrous, somewhat glaucous, sparsely pubescent and with small yellowish brown glands. Buds resinous. Leaves deciduous, 3.5–9.5(–19) × (2–)3.5–9(–11) cm, ovate to elliptic, upper surface glabrous, lower surface with limited pubescence, 10–16 lateral veins on each side of the midvein, margins slightly revolute and serrate or serrulate, apex long-acuminate to acute, obtuse or rounded; petiole glabrous or pubescent, 0.7–1.6 cm long. Staminate inflorescences catkin-like, 3.5–15 cm long; pistillate inflorescences in racemes of two to four, pedunculate, globose to oblong, 0.3–0.8 × 0.15–0.32 cm. Cones woody, 1.5–3 × 0.8–1.2 cm, bracts 0.3–0.5 cm wide. Furlow 1979a. Distribution ARGENTINA: northern provinces; BOLIVIA; COLOMBIA; ECUADOR; PERU; VENEZUELA. Habitat Stream banks and moist slopes between 1500 and 2800 m asl. USDA Hardiness Zone 8–9. Conservation status Lower Risk (whole species).

A key to the subspecies is provided below, but the morphological distinctions between them are slight and only accessions of known geographical provenance can be identified with certainty.


Leaves lanceolate to narrowly ovate, lower surface glabrous; Mexico (Durango to Oaxaca)

subsp. glabrata


Leaves ovate to obovate, lower surface pubescent



Leaves finely serrate or serrulate; South America (Venezuela to Argentina)

subsp. acuminata


Leaves doubly serrate; Central America (Mexico to Panama)

subsp. arguta



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