4. Cercocarpus ledifolius Nuttall in J. Torrey and A. Gray, Fl. N. Amer. 1: 427. 1840.
Curl-leaf mountain mahogany
Shrubs or trees, (5–)10–85 dm, moderately to strongly branched distally. Stems: long-shoot internodes 4–22 mm, sericeous-villous to hirsute-pilose, rarely glabrous, glabrescent; short shoots (1–)2–55 × 1–3.4 mm. Leaves persistent or ± drought-deciduous; stipules 1–3.8 mm; petiole 0.4–6 mm; blade linear, linear-lanceolate, lanceolate, lance-elliptic, or elliptic-ovate, (3–)5–48 × 1–11 mm, stiffly coriaceous, base cuneate, margins weakly to strongly revolute, entire, ˂thickened˃, apex acute, apiculate-mucronate to obtuse-rounded, abaxial surface initially sericeous or villous (sometimes strongly so), sometimes glabrescent, areoles closely canescent, adaxial sericeous, hirsute, or villous, glabrescent. Flowers 1–10 per short shoot; hypanthial tubes densely to loosely sericeous, villous, or with indument of coiled ascending hairs; hypanthial cups 1.5–3 × 1.8–3.5 mm; sepals (3–)5, broadly deltate, 1–2.5 mm, acute-obtuse; stamens 10–25, anthers 0.7–1.2 mm, glabrous. Achenes 6–10.5 × 0.8–1.5 mm; fruiting pedicels 0.3–1.5(–2) mm; hypanthial tubes (2.6–)3–11 mm; pedicel/tube ratio (5–)8–18(–28)%; fruit awns 3–8.5 cm, proximal setae 1.6–3.5 mm.
Varieties 3 (3 in the flora): w United States, nw Mexico.
Characteristics of Cercocarpus ledifolius include entire leaf margins; adaxial epidermis-cuticle translucent showing underlying venation and bundle-sheath extensions; stipules and bracts more or less glutinous; pedicels relatively short; flowers with relatively small hypanthial cups and large, erect to spreading sepals, stamens set deep within hypanthial cup, with longer filaments and glabrous anthers.