This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol2", by Nathaniel Lord Britton, Addison Brown. Also available from Amazon: An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 Volume Set..
Shrubs, the foliage somewhat stellate-pubescent. Leaves alternate, obovate. Flowers perfect, or often polygamous (sometimes monoecious) in catkin-like bracted terminal spikes, appearing a little before the leaves. Calyx campanulate, slightly 5-7-lobed. Petals none. Stamens about 24, inserted on the edge of the calyx; anthers subglobose. Ovary 2-celled; styles slender; ovules 1 in each cell. Capsule cartilaginous, 2-celled, 2-seeded. Seeds bony, pendulous. [Named for Dr. John Fothergill, 1712-1780, an English naturalist.]
A monotypic genus of eastern North America.
A shrub, 2°-5° high, the young twigs densely stellate-pubescent. Leaves short-petioled, 2' - 3' long, obovate or broadly oval, obtuse or short-pointed at the apex, rounded or narrowed at the base, usually inequilateral, coarsely dentate-crenate above the middle, or entire, more or less stellate-pubescent; spikes dense, erect, 1'-2' long; bracts densely pubescent, the lower ones sometimes lobed; stamens white or pinkish, 2"-4" long; capsule very pubescent.
In wet grounds, Virginia to Georgia. Witch- or dwarf-alder. April.