Hansen's Northwest Native Plant Database

Cercocarpus ledifolius (Curl Leaf Mountain Mahogany)


 Plantae – Plants


 Tracheobionta – Vascular plants


 Spermatophyta – Seed plants


 Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants


 Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons






 Rosaceae – Rose family


 Cercocarpus Kunth – mountain mahogany


 Cercocarpus ledifolius Nutt. – curl-leaf mountain mahogany

A very unusual, small evergreen tree for dry sunny sites.

  • A native of western North America this tree is often found along side pine trees in mountainous regions where rocky soils are present.

  • Mature trees can reach 45 feet but expect around 25 feet in most landscape situations.

  • The small glossy dark green leaves have rolled margins and are hairy underneath.

  • Small white flowers appear along the leaf axles but more decorative are the long fuzzy plumed fruit.

  • It is hardy in USDA zones 5-9, and very draught tolerant once established.

  • The gray bark becomes attractive and furrowed with age and the new twigs are an attractive red. Native Americans used this tree medicinally and also made a dye from the red inner bark.

  • The hard wood was great for smoking meat and sturdy for making arrow shafts.

  • Mountain Mahogany is listed as important winter forage for big game animals due to the unusually high protein content of the leaves.

Native range


Photo, left, credit:  Walter Siegmund; Photo, center, credit:  Stan Shebs, Lee Canyon, NV; Photo, right, credit:  Walter Siegmund_Lava Beds National Monument

Photo, left, credit:  Matt Lavin from Bozeman, Montana, USA; Photo, right, credit:  Dcrjsr

Photo, left, credit:  Davefoc; Photo, center, credit:  Dcrjsr; Photo, right, credit:  Stan Shebs, Lee Canyon, NV

Contact:  nwplants@gmail.com ~ Copyright 2016 © The Wild Garden: Hansen’s Northwest Native Plant Database  ~ All rights reserved