Friends of Belfast Botanic Gardens

Tree of the month series - this series of short articles about trees in the Belfast Botanic Gardens is compiled by members of the Friends group and Gardens staff. We aim to build up to a comprehensive archive of trees in Belfast Botanic Gardens. Each article illustrates a tree growing in Belfast Botanic Gardens together with information from a range of sources. Where possible we will give the tree tag number - these are the small aluminium discs, usually fixed on the tree trunk, 2 to 3m above ground level.

Click here to view the tree archive

Tag ?

location:

54deg 34.977N

5deg 56.047W

Tree of the Month, May 2011

Alnus maximowiczii

(one of the Green Alders)

 

 

Jon Pilcher

Alnus maximowiczii (which appears to have no common name) is one of the green alders and used to be listed as Alnus viridis subsp. Maximowiczii. It is a small tree, growing to 9 to 12m high and is often multi-stemmed as in the example in Belfast Botanic Gardens. The leaves are larger than those of the native alder and the tree casts a dense shade in summer. The male and female flowers are separate, but may often appear close together on the same branch. The male flowers are long yellowish catkins and the female flowers are a short cylindrical structure with red stigmas. The female cones develop into an ovate shape and remain on the tree long after the seeds have been shed. They are very similar to the cones of the native Alnus glutinosa and quickly show to what genus this tree belongs. Alnus maximowiczii is native to the Russian far east, Japan, Korea and the extinct volcanic island of Ullong Do between Japan and Korea. It seems to be rare in cultivation but is listed by two UK specialist nurseries.

Alnus maximowicii in Belfast Botanic Gardens

Alnus maximowiczii leaves

Alnus maximowicii in Belfast Botanic Gardens (Ulster Museum Buildings behind the tree) Alnus maximowiczii leaves

Alnus maximowiczii female flowers - the stigmas are red, later turning brown as here.

Male catkins of Alnus maximowiczii

Alnus maximowiczii female flowers - the stigmas are red, later turning brown as here. Male catkins of Alnus maximowiczii
Old cones of Alnus maximowiczii are retained on the tree after the seeds have been shed.

Carl Johann Maximowicz (also Karl Ivanovich Maximowicz) was a Russian botanist who has a number of trees named after him; and also a Maximowicz's vole.

Wikipedia has an article about him with a list of plants named after him and also an impressive list of plants named by him.

Also in Belfast Botanic Gardens is a specimen of Acer maximowiczii which is described in our tree archive.

Old cones of Alnus maximowiczii are retained on the tree after the seeds have been shed.  

 

Photos taken in 2011 in Belfast Botanic Gardens. Copyright Jon Pilcher