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Curl Leaf Mountain Mahogany
Cercocarpus ledifolius
  
About Curl Leaf Mountain Mahogany (Cercocarpus ledifolius) 11 Nurseries Carry This Plant Cercocarpus ledifolius is a species of mountain mahogany known by the common name curl-leaf mountain mahogany. This is a large, densely-branching shrub or a tree which may reach 10 meters in height. Its leathery, sticky, dark green leaves are up to 4 centimeters long and lance-shaped, and the edges may curl under. The flower consists of a small tan tube from which protrudes a long, plumelike style covered in luxuriant tan hairs. The flowers are arranged in flower clusters of up to 3. The fruit is a hairy achene one half to just over one centimeter long. This plant is distributed across western North America where it grows on low mountains and slopes. It had a great many medicinal uses for various Native American groups, such as the Paiute and Shoshone. This species is known to attain ages at least as great as 1,350 years (although the tree that yielded this age was cut down; Schultz et al. 1990). This makes it arguably the oldest known flowering plant. Greater ages have been attributed to various olive trees (Olea europaea), but no one can point to a piece of olive wood with as many as 1,350 rings. A sacred fig (Ficus religiosa) in Sri Lanka was reportedly planted in 283 BC, but that date has been contested and in any event no remaining piece of wood appears to be that old. The 1,350 year date cited here is also potentially inaccurate due to dating uncertainties detailed by the authors. Much older plants are known to exist, but as clones, not as individuals.)
Plant Description
Plant Type
Plant Type
Shrub

Size
Size
6.6 - 32.8 ft tall
5 - 10 ft wide

Form
Form
Upright, Fountain, Upright Columnar

Growth Rate
Growth Rate
Slow, Moderate

Dormancy
Dormancy
Evergreen

Fragrance
Fragrance
Slight

Flower Color
Flower Color
Yellow, Cream, White

Flowering Season
Flowering Season
Spring, Winter

Wildlife Supported
 


Landscaping Information
Sun
Sun
Full Sun, Part Shade

Moisture
Moisture
Very Low

Summer Irrigation
Summer Irrigation
Max 1x / month once established

Nurseries
Nurseries

Ease of Care
Ease of Care
Moderately Easy

Cold Tolerance
Cold Tolerance
Tolerates cold to -20 - -10° F

Soil Drainage
Soil Drainage
Fast, Medium

Soil Description
Soil Description
Often rocky soils. Soil PH: 6 - 8

Common uses
Common uses
Hedges, Bank Stabilization, Bird Gardens

Propagation
Propagation?
For propagating by seed: 2-3 mos. stratification. Other methods for better germination: (1) soak in concentrated H2SO, 5 mins., dry 24 hrs., then soak in 3% thiourea 4 hrs., then sow or air dry to store and sow later (Liacos and Nord 1961); (2) No treatment. but diurnal fluctuation of 50° and 86°F, 16 and 8 hrs. respectively, during germination period; (3) soak in concentrated H2SO4 10 mins -- 1 mo. stratification hastens and increases uniformity of germination (Heit 1971).

Natural Setting
Site Type
Site Type
Deep soils, rocky slopes

Climate
Climate
Annual Precipitation: 3.8" - 113.0", Summer Precipitation: 0.24" - 4.36", Coldest Month: 22.0" - 56.0", Hottest Month: 42.1" - 82.4", Humidity: 0.57" - 38.57", Elevation: 1178" - 11505"

Alternative Names
Common Names: Curl-leaf Mountain Mahogany, Curlleaf Cercocarpus, Curlleaf Mountain Mahogany, Curlleaf Mountainmahogany


Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora


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