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Cercocarpus

Mountain Mahogany
Rosaceae
Deciduous, Evergreen, Shrubs, Trees, Decorative fruit or berries

Natives of Western American mountains and foothills. Several have a most attractive open structure and branching pattern. Distinguished in fall by long-lasting small fruit topped by a long, twisted, feathery, tail-like plume that sparkles in sunlight. About 20 kinds are native to the West, but some are widespread.

Cercocarpus betuloides

Native to dry foothills below 6,000-ft. elevation in southwestern Oregon, California, and northern Baja California. Generally shrubby, 5–12 ft. high and wide. Can form a small tree with a wide-spreading crown of arching branches to 20 ft. Wedge-shaped leaves cluster on short spurs; leaves are dark green above, pale beneath, with feathery veining, toothed edges.

Cercocarpus ledifolius

Native to dry mountain slopes throughout the West, from the eastern slopes of Sierra Nevada–Cascade divide to the Rockies. In warmer western part of its range, it grows to 5–12 ft. high and wide; in highest, coldest part of the range, it is a very slow-growing, excellent hedge or small tree. Leaves are leathery, 1/2–1 in. long, resinous, dark green above, white beneath, with inrolled edges.

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