Birchleaf Mountain Mahogany (Cercocarpus montanus)

[ Trees > Hardwoods . . . ]      Forest Type: Low- and Mid-Elevation Montane


Spreading, shrub-like tree with birch-like leaves; flowers producing elongated, fuzzy, white plumes; found in montane western North America at lower and middle elevations.

by Michael Kuo

Habitat: Scattered in various dry western ecosystems, including pinyon-juniper chaparral, Ponderosa woods, and montane pine forests below 10,000 feet.

Stature: To 20 feet tall but usually smaller and shrub-like; with an open, irregular crown.

Leaves: About an inch long; oval to spatula-shaped (reminiscent of alder or birch leaves); coarsely toothed; with prominent parallel veins; with short petioles; deciduous or, in warm climates, somewhat evergreen.

Bark: Smooth and brown when young, developing ridges and becoming gray-brown with age.

Flowers: Small and greenish, appearing in spring.

Fruit: A small woody seed attached to a long, fuzzy, white plume about 4 inches long.

(References consulted)

Frequent Mushroom Associates:

Cercopemyces crocodilinus is exclusively associated (probably in a mycorrhizal symbiosis) with Cercocarpus montanus and other species of mountain mahogany in the genus Cercocarpus.


Cercocarpus montanus

Cercocarpus montanus

Cercocarpus montanus

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Kuo, M. (2018, November). Birchleaf mountain mahogany (Cercocarpus montanus). Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: