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Mountain Mahogany: Wikis


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Alderleaf Mountain-mahogany
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Rosales
Family: Rosaceae
Subfamily: Dryadoideae
Genus: Cercocarpus

Several, see text

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 semi-desert climates, often at high altitudes. They typically reach 3 to 6 meters tall, but exceptionally up to 13 meters 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 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.

Species include:


  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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