Scientific name: Cercocarpus montanus
Common name: mountain mahogany
Plant family: Rosaceae
Article by Susan Bruneni
Mountain mahogany is a delightful feature of the new ethnobotanical gardens, Ojos y Manos: Eyes and Hands, and has been a useful plant in this area for centuries. The mountain mahogany is a shrub or small tree in the Rosaceae family, native to the Western United States. It is a broadleaf evergreen and grows in well-drained soil in full sun. It tolerates dry-to-medium moisture. Height ranges from 8-12 feet with a spread of 4-8 feet. In native habitats along chaparral, foothills or in lower mountain ranges it is preferred fodder for elk and mule deer and rarely reaches optimum height. In cultivated plantings, it is beneficial because it fixes nitrogen and is good for revegetation and erosion control.