Curl leaf mountain mahogany is arguably the longest lived flowering plant in the world, with specimens recorded to have grown for 1,350 years. This drought tolerant evergreen shrub has leathery green, lance-shaped leaves that can curl under at the margins. It can be found growing on dry mountains and slopes throughout western North America. This species has small, cream or tan colored flower clusters. Curl leaf mountain mahogany is in the rose family, and its botanical name, Cercocarpus betuloides, helps with identification. Cerco is derived from the Greek word, kerkos, meaning “tail.” Carpus means “fruit.” The description of a tailed fruit refers to the distinctive curly, feather-like achene fruit that facilitates wind dispersal. The common name, mountain mahogany is used because of the extremely hard and reddish heartwood that was crafted into tools by Native Americans, and is still used by wood crafters today. Curl leaf mountain mahogany grows best in full sun with dry, well-drained soil. This species is a larval host plant for some butterflies and moths.
Seed Germination Instructions
60-90 days cold-moist stratification. Sow outside in fall to early spring.