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Cercocarpus ledifolius - Nutt. ex Torr.&A.Gray.

Common Name Mountain Mahogany, Curl-leaf mountain mahogany
Family Rosaceae
USDA hardiness Coming soon
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Dry gravelly arid slopes in the mountain ranges of the interior regions, 1500 - 2700 metres[82, 229].
Range Western N. America - Washington to California, west to Wyoming, Arizona and New Mexico.
Edibility Rating    (1 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun
Cercocarpus ledifolius Mountain Mahogany, Curl-leaf mountain mahogany

Cercocarpus ledifolius Mountain Mahogany, Curl-leaf mountain mahogany
Sheri Hagwood @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database


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Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of cone
Cercocarpus ledifolius is an evergreen Tree growing to 8 m (26ft 3in) at a slow rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 6. It is in leaf all year. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Insects.
It can fix Nitrogen.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.



Woodland Garden Secondary; Sunny Edge;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts:
Edible Uses: Tea.

The scraped bark makes a flavourful addition to a brew of Mormon tea (Ephedra spp.)[183].

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Cardiac;  Haemostatic;  Poultice;  Stomachic;  TB;  Tonic;  VD.

Mountain mahogany was employed medicinally by a number of native North American Indian tribes who used it to treat a variety of complaints[257]. It is virtually not used in modern herbalism. The bark is antihaemorrhagic, cardiac, stomachic and tonic[257]. A decoction has been used in the treatment of coughs and colds, pneumonia, spitting up of blood, stomach aches, diarrhoea (including for children), tuberculosis and VD[257]. A poultice of the green powdered wood has been applied to sores, cuts, wounds and burns[257]. It has also been sprinkled on syphilitic sores[257]. An exudation from the plant has been dried, ground into a powder and applied to the ear to treat earaches[257].

Other Uses

Fuel;  Wood.

A red dye is obtained from the inner bark[257]. The wood is extremely hard and so dense that it will not float in water[229]. It is also brittle[82]. It makes an excellent fuel, giving off intense heat whilst burning for a long time[229]. It is occasionally used in the manufacture of small articles for domestic and industrial use[82].

Cultivation details

Agroforestry Services: Nitrogen;  Fodder: Bank;  Management: Standard;  Regional Crop.

Requires a position in full sun in a perfectly draining soil[200]. Succeeds in dry soils. Tolerates maritime exposure[200]. Some forms of this species are hardy to about -17°c[200]. A slow-growing tree or large shrub, it is not a true evergreen, but its leaves persist over winter and do not fall until after the new leaves are growing[229]. Some members of this genus have a symbiotic relationship with certain soil micro-organisms, these form nodules on the roots of the plants and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[200].


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Seed - sow spring in a greenhouse. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame[200].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Cercocarpus montanusMountain Mahogany, Alderleaf mountain mahogany, Silver mountain mahogany, Island mountain mahogany,01


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Nutt. ex Torr.&A.Gray.

Botanical References


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Subject : Cercocarpus ledifolius  
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