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Cercocarpus montanus var. minutiflorus

Cercocarpus montanus Raf. var. minutiflorus (Abrams) F.L. Martin

Smooth Mountain Mahogany, San Diego Mountain-mahogany

Rosaceae (Rose Family)

Synonym(s): Cercocarpus minutiflorus


USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

A large, evergreen shrub usually from 8-20 ft. with shiny, bright-green leaves. The tubular flowers are small and inconspicuous but are followed by showy, silky-plumed seedheads in the summer. Flowers are wind-pollinated.


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Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub
Root Type: Tap
Leaf Retention: Evergreen
Leaf Shape: Obovate , Ovate
Leaf Margin: Entire , Serrate
Breeding System: Monoecious
Inflorescence: Axillary
Fruit Type: Achene
Size Notes: Up to about 25 feet tall.
Flower: Stamens 15-25.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow , Purple
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul
Bloom Notes: Inconspicuous flowers are greenish yellow, sometimes tinged reddish purple.


Native Distribution: Southern California and northern Baja California.
Native Habitat: Dry slopes,chaparral below 3000 ft.

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil Description: Dry, rocky soils.
Conditions Comments: Nitrogen-fixing and good for revegetation and erosion control.


Description: Propagation is possible by 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.
Seed Treatment: Because of varying degrees of dormancy within the species and subspecies, a cold-moist period may or may not be necessary.
Commercially Avail: yes

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden - Santa Barbara, CA

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.

Additional resources

USDA: Find Cercocarpus montanus var. minutiflorus in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Cercocarpus montanus var. minutiflorus in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Cercocarpus montanus var. minutiflorus


Record Modified: 2022-10-03
Research By: TWC Staff

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