World Plants Logo

search the world

Woody > Alnus > Alnus nitida > Alnus nitida

Alnus nitida

Himalayan Alder

Origin:  Alnus nitida originates from Afghanistan, India, Nepal and Pakistan. It is seen most commonly in the Himalayas, where it is known as the Himalayan Alder.
            Mike's Opinion

this is Mike


Alnus nitida is a fine and rare specimen, spanning the Himalayas. It is favoured as a roadside planting in the towns around the mountains.

Michael Pascoe, NDP., ODH., CLT., MSc. (Plant Conservation)


Tree (deciduous)
Clethropsis nitida
USDA Hardiness Zone
7 - 10
Canadian Hardiness Zone
5a - 8a
RHS Hardiness Zone
H6 - H2
Temperature (°C)
-10 - 15
Temperature (°F)
14 - 59
20 - 30 m
Description and Growing Information
Flowering Period
General Description
Alnus nitida has green leaves with brown catkins and grows by river banks and streams of the Himalayas, growing to a good height and producing bark that can be used for dyes and swelling treatment. This tree is on the IUCN Red List, but due to a lack of threats has been labelled 'Least Concern'.
This tree is cultivated as one of Pakistan’s roadside trees.
Alnus nitida is more preferable to damp situations and heavy soil. Growth excels in heavy clay soils, but will tolerate drier soils than fellow genus members, and furthermore finds success at infertile sites. These trees can tolerate temperatures as low as -5° - (-10°C) but cannot survive in colder climates.
Alnus nitida is an upright tree.
ID Characteristic
Alnus nitida will be around 25 m tall with smooth but fissured bark, leading to branches of oval-shaped buds, catkins, and simple elliptical leaves.
Alnus nitida does not have any pests of immediate concern.
Alnus nitida is a rare species that grows naturally and would typically be found along river banks in the Himalayas (East Asia) at high altitudes of 2800 meters and down into the plains at 600-1200 meters. Countries include Afghanistan; India (Himachal Pradesh, Jammu-Kashmir, and Uttaranchal); Nepal; Pakistan.
Bark/Stem Description
Smooth, light brown in colour with spots and fissures.
Flower/Leaf Bud Description
Oval-shaped buds.
Leaf Description
Leaves are simple, green, undulating, and elliptical.
Flower Description
Alnus nitida flowers in September, producing monoecious flowers.
Fruit Description
It produces coarse oblong catkins that are medium brown.
Colour Description
Green leaves, brown catkins and light greyish brown bark.
Seeds are best sown in a cold frame and should start to germinate during spring as weather warms. When grown large enough, choose seedlings for individual pots. Semi-hardwood cuttings from mature Alnus nitida are taken when autumn begins.
Ethnobotanical Uses (Disclaimer)
A concoction of the bark is applied to treat swelling and body pain. The bark is also used in some places for dyeing and tanning purposes. The wood is used for construction and furniture. This species is cultivated as a roadside tree in Pakistan.
Michael A. Dirr (1975). Manual of Woody Plants. Alnus/Amelanchier p.101