Cercocarpus, commonly known as mountain mahogany, is a small genus of five or six species of nitrogen-fixing 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)
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.Species Cercocarpus betuloides – birch-leaf mountain mahogany C. b. var. betuloides C. b. var. blancheae (C.K. Schneid.) Little – island mountain mahogany C. b. var. macrourus (Rydb.) Jeps. – Klamath mountain mahogany Cercocarpus breviflorus A. Gray – hairy mountain mahogany Cercocarpus douglasii Rydb Cercocarpus fothergilloides Kunth Cercocarpus intricatus S. Watson Cercocarpus ledifolius Nutt. – curl-leaf mountain mahogany C. l. nothovar. intercedens C.K. Schneid. C. l. var. intermontanus N.H. Holmgren C. l. var. ledifolius C. l. var. intricatus (S. Watson) M.E. Jones – little-leaf mountain mahogany Cercocarpus minutiflorus Abrams – smooth mountain mahogany Cercocarpus montanus Raf. – alder-leaf mountain mahogany C. m. var. argenteus (Rydb.) F.L. Martin – silver mountain mahogany C. m. var. montanus Cercocarpus traskiae Eastw. – Catalina Island mountain mahogany