4a. Cercocarpus ledifolius Nuttall var. ledifolius
Cercocarpus hypoleucus Rydberg; C. ledifolius var. intercedens C. K. Schneider
Shrubs or trees, 10–30 dm. Stems: long-shoot internodes 10–17 mm, sparsely villous, sericeous, or hirsute; short shoots 1–15 × 1.7–3 mm. Leaves: petiole (1.5–)2–4.5 mm; blade narrowly lanceolate to linear, sometimes lance-elliptic, (7–)13–29(–48) × (1.5–)2–5(–7) mm, margins revolute (leaving much of abaxial surface exposed), abaxial surface usually densely villous, sometimes sericeous, adaxial usually moderately, often loosely, villous or sericeous, rarely pilose, usually glabrescent. Flowers 1–5 per short shoot; hypanthial tubes strongly villous; sepals 2–2.5 mm. Achenes 6.5–9 × 1.2–1.4 mm; fruit awns 4–7.5 cm, proximal setae 1.6–2.7 mm.
Flowering Apr–May. Rocky outcrops, talus slopes, with Artemisia, Purshia, Gambel oak, pinyon pine and juniper; (200–)1300–2300(–3000) m; Ariz., Calif., Colo., Idaho, Mont., Nev., Oreg., Utah, Wash., Wyo.
Variety ledifolius has narrowly lanceolate to linear leaves that are initially strongly villous adaxially and often strongly villous-woolly abaxially, obscuring the veins between the revolute margins. The adaxial surfaces are usually glabrescent; vestiture is not very dense in sericeous plants.
Here, var. ledifolius comprises intermediates between var. intermontanus and var. intricatus representing hybrids and introgressants that together form breeding populations in zones of parental overlap and in regions outside the range of either parent. Variety ledifolius is considered to be polyphyletic and is much more variable than either parent. Some specimens have relatively small leaves approaching those in var. intricatus. Some specimens have larger long-shoot leaves as in var. intermontanus (with diminished [glabrescent] vestiture and narrower margins) and short-shoot leaves as in var. ledifolius.