Alder ( Knotty) A popular species today because of its pronounced grain and uniform texture. This versatile wood species features a fairly straight grain with areas of burl clusters and small knots. These marks add character and will provide a darker texture and color when finished. Alder varies from pale yellow to reddish brown and it accepts stains exceptionally well. It is also the lightest and least dense. Knotty Alder presents a more rustic look. When stained, alder blends well with walnut, mahogany and cherry.