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Useful Tropical Plants

Alnus acuminata

Kunth

Betulaceae

+ Synonyms

Alnus acutissima (Winkl.) Callier

Alnus arguta (Schltdl.) Spach

Alnus castaneifolia Mirb.

Alnus ferruginea Kunth

Alnus lanceolata Phil.

Alnus lindenii Regel

Alnus mirbelii Spach

Alnus rufescens Liebm. ex Hemsl.

Alnus spachii (Regel) Callier

Betula arguta Schltdl.

Common Name:

Alnus acuminata
Tree growing in native habitat
Photograph by: Alejandro Bayer Tamayo
Creative Commons License
Alnus acuminata Alnus acuminata Alnus acuminata Alnus acuminata Alnus acuminata

General Information

Alnus acuminata is a medium-sized to tall evergreen tree with a wide, rounded crown; usually growing 10 - 25 metres tall but exceptional specimens may reach 30 - 40 metres[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. The bole is straight, usually 20 - 50cm in diameter, but sometimes up to 100cm[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. On unfavourable sites the plant may only develop into a shrub[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
].
The tree is harvested from the wild as a local source of wood, fuel, tannins and dyes. It is sometimes cultivated as a timber crop in plantations[
381
Title
Timber Trees of Meso America.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.unep-wcmc.org/forest/timber/workshops/reports/MA2005/Annex%202.pdf
Publisher
UNEP
Year
2005
ISBN
 
Description
A PDF document, published on the internet. Detailed reports on about 30 species of timber trees from Central America.
].
A widespread and common montane species, but much of its original habitat in the drier inter-Andean valleys has disappeared over the centuries. The tree is classified as 'Least Concern' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2011)[
338
Title
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.iucnredlist.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A list of plants under threat and facing possible extinction, usually with brief details of the threats and information on habitat.
].

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

331
Title
Flora of Guatemala
Publication
 
Author
Standley P.C. & J. A. Steyermark
Website
http://www.archive.org/
Publisher
 
Year
1946 - 1976
ISBN
 
Description
A superb reference, though somewhat dated. Gives lots of plant uses as well as information on plant habit and habitat. The entire flora (13 volumes) can now be downloaded from http://www.archive.org/

Range

S. America - Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, north through C. America to Mexico.

Habitat

Grows well on steep mountain slopes at elevations between 1,000 metres in Costa Rica and 3,800 metres in Peru[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. Common in the mountains, often forming almost pure, dense, extensive stands, but more often associated with oaks and often with pines[
331
Title
Flora of Guatemala
Publication
 
Author
Standley P.C. & J. A. Steyermark
Website
http://www.archive.org/
Publisher
 
Year
1946 - 1976
ISBN
 
Description
A superb reference, though somewhat dated. Gives lots of plant uses as well as information on plant habit and habitat. The entire flora (13 volumes) can now be downloaded from http://www.archive.org/
].

Properties

Conservation StatusLeast Concern
Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *  *
HabitEvergreen Tree
Height25.00 m
Growth RateFast
PollinatorsWind
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Wild

Cultivation Details

A plant of higher elevations in the tropics, where it is generally found at elevations from 1,000 - 3,700 metres[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 15 - 28°c, though it can tolerate 4 - 34°c[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. Plants can withstand temperatures that dip briefly below 0°c[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 1,500 - 2,500mm, tolerating 1,000 - 3,500mm[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. It is usually found in areas with a distinct dry season of 3 - 5 months[
325
Title
Seed Leaflets
Publication
 
Author
Various
Website
http://en.sl.life.ku.dk/Publikationer/Udgivelser/PopulaerPublikationer.aspx?katid={D28373CC-6EF3-4EF8-B097-6D83FABF209E}&serieid={9F1C3DB1-6E7B-4CF1-AF53-F480B0CB40EF}&sort=title
Publisher
Forest & Landscape. Denmark
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A series of leaflets, jointly produced by the University of Copenhagen and the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, focussing on seed information for a number species, but also giving a lot of other information about each plant.
].
Grows best in a sunny position, but can tolerate some shade[
381
Title
Timber Trees of Meso America.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.unep-wcmc.org/forest/timber/workshops/reports/MA2005/Annex%202.pdf
Publisher
UNEP
Year
2005
ISBN
 
Description
A PDF document, published on the internet. Detailed reports on about 30 species of timber trees from Central America.
,
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. Prefers deep, well-drained soils with high content of organic matter[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. Succeeds in shallow soils[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
,
381
Title
Timber Trees of Meso America.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.unep-wcmc.org/forest/timber/workshops/reports/MA2005/Annex%202.pdf
Publisher
UNEP
Year
2005
ISBN
 
Description
A PDF document, published on the internet. Detailed reports on about 30 species of timber trees from Central America.
]. Prefers a pH in the range 5.5 - 6.5, tolerating 4.5 - 7[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
].
A fast-growing tree, it can reach a height of 25 metres in 10 years[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
].
Plants can commence flowering when just 4 - 5 years old from seed[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].
Plants reproduce freely on exposed bare-soil surfaces[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
].
Trees respond well to coppicing[
338
Title
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.iucnredlist.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A list of plants under threat and facing possible extinction, usually with brief details of the threats and information on habitat.
].
Grown in rotations of about 20 years, the optimum annual yield of wood for fuel and industrial use is 10 - 15 cubic metres per hectare[
381
Title
Timber Trees of Meso America.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.unep-wcmc.org/forest/timber/workshops/reports/MA2005/Annex%202.pdf
Publisher
UNEP
Year
2005
ISBN
 
Description
A PDF document, published on the internet. Detailed reports on about 30 species of timber trees from Central America.
,
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
].
This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal

The bark and leaves have medicinal value, and have been used in the treatment of muscular and joint pain, rheumatism, skin infection, and as an anti-inflammatory[
381
Title
Timber Trees of Meso America.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.unep-wcmc.org/forest/timber/workshops/reports/MA2005/Annex%202.pdf
Publisher
UNEP
Year
2005
ISBN
 
Description
A PDF document, published on the internet. Detailed reports on about 30 species of timber trees from Central America.
].

The macerated leaves are used to treat joint and muscular pains, rheumatism and skin infections[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. A leaf infusion is part of a cure for inflammation of the prostate[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

Agroforestry Uses:

A pioneer species that grows rapidly, needs light, and regenerates in open areas. It tolerates a wide range of climates and soils[
381
Title
Timber Trees of Meso America.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.unep-wcmc.org/forest/timber/workshops/reports/MA2005/Annex%202.pdf
Publisher
UNEP
Year
2005
ISBN
 
Description
A PDF document, published on the internet. Detailed reports on about 30 species of timber trees from Central America.
]. It can be used in reforestation projects at higher elevations in the Tropics[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].
Both within its native range, as well as in other areas such as tropical Africa, the tree is increasingly planted for the reclamation of denuded sites, erosion control, soil improvement and in agroforestry systems. It is well suited for these purposes because of its rapid growth and tolerance to a wide range of soils and climatic conditions[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
It has been used as a shade plant for coffee in Costa Rica for about 100 years[
381
Title
Timber Trees of Meso America.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.unep-wcmc.org/forest/timber/workshops/reports/MA2005/Annex%202.pdf
Publisher
UNEP
Year
2005
ISBN
 
Description
A PDF document, published on the internet. Detailed reports on about 30 species of timber trees from Central America.
].
Planting of this species in association with maize and corn can reduce the cost of planting these crops by up to 60%[
381
Title
Timber Trees of Meso America.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.unep-wcmc.org/forest/timber/workshops/reports/MA2005/Annex%202.pdf
Publisher
UNEP
Year
2005
ISBN
 
Description
A PDF document, published on the internet. Detailed reports on about 30 species of timber trees from Central America.
].
The agroforestry benefits of this species are not derived only from its nitrogen fixing capabilities but also because of
the leaves, which recycle nutrients into the soil[
381
Title
Timber Trees of Meso America.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.unep-wcmc.org/forest/timber/workshops/reports/MA2005/Annex%202.pdf
Publisher
UNEP
Year
2005
ISBN
 
Description
A PDF document, published on the internet. Detailed reports on about 30 species of timber trees from Central America.
].

Other Uses

The inner bark yields tannin and dye[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
].
A brown dye is obtained from the bark[
331
Title
Flora of Guatemala
Publication
 
Author
Standley P.C. & J. A. Steyermark
Website
http://www.archive.org/
Publisher
 
Year
1946 - 1976
ISBN
 
Description
A superb reference, though somewhat dated. Gives lots of plant uses as well as information on plant habit and habitat. The entire flora (13 volumes) can now be downloaded from http://www.archive.org/
]. It is often used for cotton and other textiles[331[

The heartwood is cream-coloured, turning reddish upon exposure; it is not distinctly demarcated from the sapwood. The grain is straight; the texture fine; lustre is medium; there is no distinctive taste or odour. The wood is light in weight; tough; strong; moderately durable in the open, durable when under water, and not resistant to insects. Easy to work with hand and power tools, it takes a good finish. It can be used for furniture, cabinetwork, coffins, boxes, interior construction, posts, plywood, carving, pulp etc[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
,
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
,
325
Title
Seed Leaflets
Publication
 
Author
Various
Website
http://en.sl.life.ku.dk/Publikationer/Udgivelser/PopulaerPublikationer.aspx?katid={D28373CC-6EF3-4EF8-B097-6D83FABF209E}&serieid={9F1C3DB1-6E7B-4CF1-AF53-F480B0CB40EF}&sort=title
Publisher
Forest & Landscape. Denmark
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A series of leaflets, jointly produced by the University of Copenhagen and the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, focussing on seed information for a number species, but also giving a lot of other information about each plant.
,
363
Title
Technical Information on 134 Species of Bolivian Woods
Publication
 
Author
USDA Forest Service -- Forest Products Lab
Website
http://www2.fpl.fs.fed.us/publications/
Publisher
USDA Forest Service
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A PDF file, available for download. Exactly what the title says, brief and to the point.
,
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. A match company in Colombia evaluated 20 species and found this species to be the best suited for making match sticks[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].
The wood is used as a fuel[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. A traditional firewood, it burns evenly and very well[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
,
381
Title
Timber Trees of Meso America.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.unep-wcmc.org/forest/timber/workshops/reports/MA2005/Annex%202.pdf
Publisher
UNEP
Year
2005
ISBN
 
Description
A PDF document, published on the internet. Detailed reports on about 30 species of timber trees from Central America.
]. The calorific value is estimated at 19 250 kJ/kg[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. The wood is also used to make charcoal[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

Propagation

Seed - it has a short viability and should be sown as soon as it is ripe[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. It requires 10 - 20 days of cold stratification at 5°c in moist sand[
325
Title
Seed Leaflets
Publication
 
Author
Various
Website
http://en.sl.life.ku.dk/Publikationer/Udgivelser/PopulaerPublikationer.aspx?katid={D28373CC-6EF3-4EF8-B097-6D83FABF209E}&serieid={9F1C3DB1-6E7B-4CF1-AF53-F480B0CB40EF}&sort=title
Publisher
Forest & Landscape. Denmark
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A series of leaflets, jointly produced by the University of Copenhagen and the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, focussing on seed information for a number species, but also giving a lot of other information about each plant.
]. Sow the treated seed in a nursery seedbed, only just covering it. Germination should commence within 13 days. The seedlings can be planted out into their permanent positions when they are 30 - 40cm tall, usually about 4 - 6 weeks after germination[
325
Title
Seed Leaflets
Publication
 
Author
Various
Website
http://en.sl.life.ku.dk/Publikationer/Udgivelser/PopulaerPublikationer.aspx?katid={D28373CC-6EF3-4EF8-B097-6D83FABF209E}&serieid={9F1C3DB1-6E7B-4CF1-AF53-F480B0CB40EF}&sort=title
Publisher
Forest & Landscape. Denmark
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A series of leaflets, jointly produced by the University of Copenhagen and the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, focussing on seed information for a number species, but also giving a lot of other information about each plant.
].
Cite as: Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2020-03-28. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Alnus+acuminata>

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