Help to identify the tree with tiny cones
What is this tree with little cute cones? I saw this tree in the Southwest of France. When the tree is smaller (type of a bush), the cones are really tiny, much smaller than on the pic below. Please, help me to identify this tree. Thank you.
Yes, it is an Italian Alder. It is a deciduous tree, it has a long season in leaf, holding on to its foliage later than many other trees. Italian Alder is native to Southern Italy (including Sardinia and Sicily).
Both male and female catkins are produced on the plant. The male catkins are pendulous and can be up to 10cm long, yellow-orange in colour. The female catkins are much smaller and stubby. When pollinated they develop into small dark woody cones which disperse the small winged seeds once matured in Autumn. The old woody, blackish ‘cones’ stay on the tree for up to a year after.
The leaves of Alnus cordata are heart shaped (cordate) and glossy green.
It is Alnus cordata (Italian alder). Italian alder is able to fix nitrogen from the air. It thrives on much drier soils than most other alders, and grows rapidly even under very unfavourable circumstances. It is a valuable tree for landscape planting on difficult sites such as mining spoil heaps and heavily compacted urban sites. It is commonly grown as a windbreak.