Catkins, appearing before the leaves, the pistillate about 1/2 inch long, nearly as broad; staminate, 3 inches long, drooping, both accompanied with 5-toothed bracts. Leaves, oval or ovate, usually pointed at apex, finely double-toothed, with smaller teeth between the larger, pale green, whitish or downy underneath, with prominent veins; dark green above, with short petioles.

A shrub, or sometimes a small tree, 8 to 20 feet high, found in wet places, as swamps or damp thickets, from New York and Pennsylvania northward. The common alder with which we are familiar along our streams.