Cercocarpus ledifolius | Curlleaf Mountain Mahogany is an evergreen shrub or small tree, native to middle elevations in the Intermountain West. The name  is derived from the glossy, olive green leaves with a hint of a curl. The flowers are almost invisible, but the wispy tails on the seeds add another dimension to mahogany, especially in fall when they create an illusion of mist surrounding the tree, when backlit by the sun.

The tree can be slow to establish, but once it gets going it can grow up 12″ a year, however, over-watering seems to slow down growth.  As the tree matures, the bark turns black with big scales that enhance the beauty of the tree and would encourage removing the lower branches to show off the bark. When hiking through lower forests and you get a whiff of an elusive fragrance, look around, it is probably Mountain Mahogany you are smelling!

Curlleaf Mountain Mahogany

Growth rate:  Slow

Height: 12ft

Width: 8ft

Full sun to part shade

Low water

Average soil

Zone 3-8