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Cercocarpus intricatus S. Wats.

Modern name

Cercocarpus intricatus S.Watson

An evergreen shrub up to 6 ft high, much and intricately branched; young shoots stiff, dark brown, downy; bark of the older parts ashy-grey. Leaves linear to narrowly lanceolate, made narrower by the decurved margins, wedge-shaped at the base, tapered at the apex to a short fine point, toothless; 12 to 114 in. long, 112 to 14 in. wide; dark glossy green, at first hairy but becoming glabrous above; clothed with grey felt beneath and hairy on the midrib and veins; stalk 116 in. long. Flowers (not seen by me on cultivated plants) described as stalkless, downy, 16 in. wide and long; calyx-lobes five, triangular. Seed-vessels terminated by a slender feathery tail 1 to 2 in. long.

Native of western N. America, from Oregon to California and Nevada, Utah, and Arizona. Like the remainder of the species, the flower has no petals, and its chief ornamental quality is due to the tail of the fruit, which is clothed with white silky hairs. Of the other three species described, this is most nearly allied to C. ledifolius, both having toothless leaves. That species differs in habit, being slender and erect; this is bushy with spreading interlaced branches. The feathery tail is also longer in C. ledifolius.



Other species in the genus