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Wasowski, Sally and Andy
Cercocarpus montanus var. glaber (S. Wats.) F.L. Martin
Birch-leaf mountain-mahogany, Birchleaf mountain mahogany, Hard tack
Synonyms: Cercocarpus betuloides
USDA Symbol: CEMOG
USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.
Hard tack, a variable, open shrub or small tree, grows from 8-20 ft. tall. Twigs may be stiff and erect or graceful and spreading. Bark is smooth gray. Birch-like, semi-evergreen to evergreen leaves are dark green, and inconspicuous flowers are followed by feathery seedheads that turn the plant silver in fall.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Tree Flower:
Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Apr , May
AZ , CA , OR Native Distribution:
S.w. OR to Baja CA Native Habitat:
Dry slopes & washes below 6000 ft. USDA Native Status: L48(N)
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil Description: Rocky, clay, or sandy soils.
Conditions Comments: Nitrogen-fixing and good for revegetation and erosion control. Drought-tolerant. Volunteer seedlings can be expected when well-established.
PropagationDescription: Propagation is possible with untreated seed.
Seed Collection: Collect seeds as soon as the fruits are dry. This is usually indicated by a white aspect to the fruiting branches. Avoid exposure of skin to the hairy, white styles.
Commercially Avail: yes
From the National Organizations Directory
According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:
Santa Barbara Botanic Garden
- Santa Barbara, CA
Recommended Species Lists
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Record Modified: 2007-12-23
Research By: TWC Staff