Herb: Mountain Mahogany
Latin name: Cercocarpus ledifolius
Family: Rosaceae (Rose Family)
Medicinal use of Mountain Mahogany:Mountain mahogany was employed medicinally by a number of native North American Indian tribes who used it to treat a variety of complaints. It is virtually not used in modern herbalism. The bark is antihaemorrhagic, cardiac, stomachic and tonic. A decoction has been used in the treatment of coughs and colds, pneumonia, spitting up of blood, stomach aches, diarrhoea (including for children), tuberculosis and VD. A poultice of the green powdered wood has been applied to sores, cuts, wounds and burns. It has also been sprinkled on syphilitic sores. An exudation from the plant has been dried, ground into a powder and applied to the ear to treat earaches.
Description of the plant:
Habitat of the herb:Dry gravelly arid slopes in the mountain ranges of the interior regions, 1500 - 2700 metres.
Edible parts of Mountain Mahogany:The scraped bark makes a flavourful addition to a brew of Mormon tea (Ephedra spp.).
Other uses of the herb:A red dye is obtained from the inner bark. The wood is extremely hard and so dense that it will not float in water. It is also brittle. It makes an excellent fuel, giving off intense heat whilst burning for a long time. It is occasionally used in the manufacture of small articles for domestic and industrial use.
Propagation of Mountain Mahogany:Seed - sow spring in a greenhouse. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame.
Cultivation of the herb:Dry gravelly arid slopes in the mountain ranges of the interior regions, 1500 - 2700 metres.
Known hazards of Cercocarpus ledifolius:None known
Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.