This evergreen shrub is native to western US from Wyoming south to colorado and New Mexico, west to California and is a member of the rose family, Rosaceae, that also includes cherry, almond, and lady’s mantle. It grows 6-8′ tall and has an intricate branching structure and small, narrow, leathery leaves that are blue-green and up to 1/2″ long. The edges of the leaves roll under and sometimes roll under so much that the leaves appear tubular. In spring, inconspicuous, petaless flowers appear bearing a 5-lobed tube formed by the sepals. The long fruit is twisted and carried a long plume. The plants are very drought tolerant and suitable for a xeriscap where it can be used as a hedge or screen if prunned to produce dense growth. The genus name, Cercocarpus, comes from the Greek word kerkos meaning a tail and karpos meaning a fruit and refers to conspicuous fruit. The specific epithet, intricatus, is the Latin word meaning tangled and refers to the branching pattern.
Type: Evergreen shrub
Outstanding Feature: Drought tolerance
Growth Rate: Slow
Bloom: Inconspicuous greenish yellow apetalous flowers with 5-lobed trumpet shaped tube formed by the sepals in spring
Size: 6-8’H x 4-6′ W
Light: Full sun
Soil: Average, dry, well-drained
Hardiness: Zones 4-9
Care: Can be hard pruned, even to the ground, to promote bushiness.
Pests and Diseases: None of significance
Propagation: seed, cuttings
Photo Credit:Wikimedia Commons