Alnus glutinosa (Betulaceae) - black alder Seed
Seed from the Kew Millennium Seed Bank collection at Wakehurst, outside London in the UK.
Alnus glutinosa (Betulaceae) - black alder, common alder, European alder; native to Europe (and SW Asia);
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alnus_glutinosa: Alnus glutinosa is important as coppice-wood on marshy ground. The wood is soft, white when first cut and turning to pale red; the knots are beautifully mottled. Under water the wood is very durable, and it is therefore used for piles. The supports of the Rialto at Venice, and many buildings at Amsterdam, are of Alder wood. It is also the traditional wood burnt to produce smoked fish and other smoked foods, though in some areas other woods are more often used now. Furniture is sometimes made from the wood, as were clogs, and it supplies excellent charcoal for gunpowder. The bark is astringent; it is used for tanning and dyeing. Alnus glutinosa is also cultivated and locally naturalised in eastern North America.
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Alnus+glutinosa: medicinal and other uses:
The bark is alterative, astringent, cathartic, febrifuge and tonic[4, 7, 14, 46, 269]. The fresh bark will cause vomiting, so use dried bark for all but emetic purposes. A decoction of the dried bark is used to bathe swellings and inflammations, especially of the mouth and throat[4, 9, 21, 254]. The powdered bark and the leaves have been used as an internal astringent and tonic, whilst the bark has also been used as an internal and external haemostatic against haemorrhage. The dried bark of young twigs are used, or the inner bark of branches 2 - 3 years old. It is harvested in the spring and dried for later use. Boiling the inner bark in vinegar produces a useful wash to treat lice and a range of skin problems such as scabies and scabs.