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Cladus: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Divisio: Magnoliophyta
Classis: Magnoliopsida
Ordo: Rosales
Familia: Rosaceae
Subfamilia: Rosoideae
Tribus: Dryadeae
Genus: Cercocarpus
Species: C. betuloides - C. breviflorus - C. intricatus - C. ledifolius - C. montanus - C. traskiae


Cercocarpus Kunth

Vernacular names
English: Mountain-mahogany

Cercocarpus, commonly known as the Mountain-mahogany, is a small genus of five or six species of deciduous shrubs or small trees in the rose family (Rosaceae), native to the western United States and northern Mexico, where they grow in chaparral and semi-desert habitats and climates, often at high altitudes. They typically reach 3 to 6 meters - 9–18 feet tall, but exceptionally up to 13 meters-40 feet in height.
Curlleaf Mountain Mahogany grove, Toiyabe Range, central Nevada

The classification of Cercocarpus within the Rosaceae has been unclear[1][2]. The genus has been placed in the subfamily Rosoideae, but is now placed in subfamily Dryadoideae[3].

The Alderleaf variety is prominent in the foothills of Colorado but usually remains under 1 meter-3 feet in height because of incessant browsing by elk and deer. This variety of mountain-mahogany is generally located on the south or west facing slopes because it cannot thrive in the shade on the north facing slopes . Several are found in the California chaparral and woodlands ecoregion.

Species include:

* Cercocarpus betuloides - Birchleaf Mountain-mahogany
* Cercocarpus breviflorus - Hairy Mountain-mahogany
* Cercocarpus intricatus - Littleleaf Mountain-mahogany
* Cercocarpus ledifolius - Curlleaf Mountain-mahogany
* Cercocarpus montanus - Alderleaf Mountain-mahogany
* Cercocarpus traskiae - Catalina Island Mountain-mahogany


1. ^ Morgan, D.R., et al. (1994). Systematic and evolutionary implications of rbcL sequence variation in Rosaceae. American Journal of Botany. 81(7): 890–903.
2. ^ Eriksson, T., et al. (2003). The phylogeny of Rosoideae (Rosaceae) based on sequences of the internal transcribed spacers (ITS) of nuclear ribosomal DNA and the trnL/F region of chloroplast DNA. International Journal of Plant Sciences. 164: 197–211.
3. ^ Potter, D., et al. (2007). Phylogeny and classification of Rosaceae. Plant Systematics and Evolution. 266(1–2): 5–43.

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Source: Wikipedia, Wikispecies: All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License