Cercocarpus betuloides (C. montanus var. glaber) Rosaceae
Birchleaf Mountain-mahogany, ser-ko-KAR-pus bet-ul-OY-dez
Western Mountain-mahogany, Hardtack, Mountain Ironwood, Sweet Brush
- Evergreen erect shrub or small tree, 5-12 ft (1.5-3.6 m) tall, sometimes to 20 ft (6 m) and wide spreading, open; bark is gray and smooth. Leaves alternate, simple, often clustered at ends of spur-like shoots, 1.3-4 cm long, obovate, base wedge-shaped, apex round, margins serrate above middle, pinnately veined, dark green to yellow-green above, paler and slightly pubescence below, petiole about 6 mm long. Flowers are small, red tinged and fruit is a slender, hairy, achene tipped with a long, 5-8 cm, plumose tail.
- Sun. Well-drained soil.
- Hardy to USDA Zone 6 Native range is from southwestern Oregon south through California to Baja California, and east to the mountains of central Arizona.
- Some controversy exists on the taxonomy of Cercocarpus, the so-called True Mountain-mahogany is now considered Cercocarpus montanus Raf. and many varieties are now recognized, such as:
C. m. var. argenteus, Silverleaf Mountain-mahogany
C. m. var. blancheae, Island Mountain-mahogany
C. m. var. glaber, Birchleaf Mountain-mahogany
C. m. var. macrourus, Klamath Mountain-mahogany
C. m. var. minutiflorus, Smooth Mountain-mahogany
C. m. var. montanus, Alderleaf Mountain-mahogany
C. m. var. paucidentatus, ShaggyMountain-mahogany
- betuloides: resembling birch (Betula)
- Oregon State Univ. campus: Peavy Hall court yard.