The alder. It grows by the slides of rivers and lakes, or beside a water spource which has since dried up. Its tiny seeds have ‘wings’ to make them water-borne and it will only sprout in damp mud. The roots like swampy soil and the leaf-fall enriches the land. The alder has dark-grey or black bark, deeply cracked and fissured, and rich green, tooth-edged leaves. The cones, the alder’s most distinctive features, bear the seeds which float away on the water to take root else where.