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Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Cladus: Rosids
Cladus: Eurosids I
Ordoo: Rosales

Familia: Rosaceae
Subfamilia: Dryadoideae
Tribus: Dryadeae
Genus: Cercocarpus
Species: C. betuloides – C. breviflorus – C. fothergilloides – C. intricatus – C. ledifolius – C. macrophyllus – C. mexicanus – C. mojadensis – C. montanus – C. pringlei – C. rotundifolius – C. rzedowskii

Cercocarpus Kunth (1824)

Type species: Cercocarpus fothergilloides Kunth


Bertolonia Moc. & Sessé ex DC.


Kunth, C.S. in Humboldt, F.W.H.A.v. & al. 1824. Nova Genera et Species Plantarum 6(fol.): 183; 6(qto.): 232.
Govaerts, R. et al. 2021. Cercocarpus in Kew Science Plants of the World online. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published online. Accessed: 2021 Dec. 18. Reference page.
International Plant Names Index. 2021. Cercocarpus. Published online. Accessed: Dec. 18 2021. 2021. Cercocarpus. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published online. Accessed: 18 Dec. 2021.

Vernacular names
English: Mountain-mahogany
suomi: Rautaispensaat

Cercocarpus, commonly known as mountain mahogany, is a small genus of at least nine species of nitrogen-fixing[2] flowering plants in the rose family, Rosaceae. They are native to the western United States and northern Mexico, where they grow in chaparral and semidesert habitats and climates, often at high altitudes. Several are found in the California chaparral and woodlands ecoregion.
Cercocarpus intricatus, Spring Mountains, southern Nevada (elevation about 2700 m)

The classification of Cercocarpus within the Rosaceae has been unclear.[3][4] The genus has been placed in the subfamily Rosoideae, but is now placed in subfamily Dryadoideae.[5]

Members of the genus are deciduous shrubs or small trees, typically reaching heights of 3–6 m (9–18 ft) tall, but exceptionally up to 13 m (40 ft) high. C. montanus usually remains under 1 m (3 ft) high because of incessant browsing by elk and deer.

The name is derived from the Greek words κέρκος (kerkos), meaning "tail" and καρπός (karpos), meaning "fruit". It refers to the tail-like plume on the fruits.[6]


Cercocarpus comprises the following species:[7][8][9][10][11]

Cercocarpus betuloides Nutt. – birch-leaf mountain mahogany
var. betuloides Nutt.
var. blancheae (C.K. Schneid.) Little – island mountain mahogany
var. traskiae (Eastw.) Dunkle – Catalina Island mountain mahogany
Cercocarpus breviflorus A. Gray – hairy mountain mahogany
Cercocarpus douglasii Rydb.
Cercocarpus fothergilloides Kunth
var. fothergilloides Kunth
var. mojadensis (C.K. Schneid.) Henrickson
Cercocarpus intricatus S.Watson
Cercocarpus ledifolius Nutt. ex Torr. & A.Gray – curl-leaf mountain mahogany
Cercocarpus mexicanus Henrard
Cercocarpus mojadensis C.K.Schneid.
Cercocarpus montanus Raf.
var. argenteus (Rydb.) F.L.Martin – silver mountain mahogany
var. glaber (S.Watson) F.L.Martin
var. macrourus (Rydb.) F.L.Martin
var. minutiflorus (Abrams) F.L.Martin – smooth mountain mahogany
var. montanus Raf. – alder-leaf mountain mahogany
var. paucidentatus (S.Watson) F.L.Martin
Cercocarpus pringlei (C.K.Schneid.) Rydb.
Cercocarpus rotundifolius Rydb.
Cercocarpus rzedowskii Henrard

Species names with uncertain taxonomic status

The status of the following species and hybrids is unresolved:[7]

Cercocarpus antiquus Lesq.
Cercocarpus arizonicus M.E.Jones
Cercocarpus betulaefolius C.K.Schneid.
Cercocarpus betulaefolius Nutt. ex Hook.
Cercocarpus breviflorus S.Watson
Cercocarpus cuneatus Dorf
Cercocarpus fothergilloides Torr.
Cercocarpus harneyensis C.A.Arnold
Cercocarpus macrophyllus C.K.Schneid.
Cercocarpus miniscalchii (A.Massal.) Principi
Cercocarpus orestesi Knowlt.
Cercocarpus pallidus Wooton
Cercocarpus parviflorus Wooton
Cercocarpus parvifolius Nutt. ex Hook. & Arn.
Cercocarpus praefoliolosa R.W.Br.
Cercocarpus praeledifolius E.W.Berry
Cercocarpus ravenscragensis E.W.Berry
Cercocarpus treleasei C.K.Schneid.


"Genus: Cercocarpus Kunth". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. 2004-06-21. Archived from the original on 2012-10-23. Retrieved 2012-04-19.
"Untitled Document". Archived from the original on 2004-12-25.
Morgan, D.R., et al. (1994). Systematic and evolutionary implications of rbcL sequence variation in Rosaceae. American Journal of Botany. 81(7): 890–903.
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.
Potter, D., et al. (2007). Phylogeny and classification of Rosaceae. Plant Systematics and Evolution. 266(1–2): 5–43.
Quattrocchi, Umberto (2000). CRC World Dictionary of Plant Names. Vol. I: A-C. CRC Press. p. 485. ISBN 978-0-8493-2675-2.
"The Plant List entry for Cercocarpus". The Plant List, v.1.1. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and the Missouri Botanical Garden. September 2013. Retrieved 15 December 2020.
Govaerts R. "Cercocarpus Kunth". Plants of the World Online. Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Retrieved 15 December 2020.
"Cercocarpus". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 2012-04-19.
"GRIN Species Records of Cercocarpus". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. Archived from the original on 2009-01-20. Retrieved 2012-04-19.
"Classification for Kingdom Plantae Down to Genus Cercocarpus Kunth". PLANTS Database. United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved 2012-04-19.

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