Speckled Alder Alnus rugosa is widely distributed in North America.
It is a shrubby plant with several upright stems growing in a clump. It
likes open wet areas along streams and by swamps. The shallow roots have
little nodules which harbour bacteria and these organisms take nitrogen from
the air and produce nitrates that are used by the alder. When the shrub dies
and rots, this fertilising nitrate is available for other woodland species to
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