Mountain-mahogany (Cercocarpus) is a small genus of five or six species of deciduous shrubs or small trees in the rose family (Rosaceae), native to the western United States and northern Mexico, where they grow in semi-desert climates, often at high altitudes. They typically reach 3–6 m tall, but exceptionally up to 13 m tall.
The classification of Cercocarpus within the Rosaceae is presently unclear. The genus was originally placed in the subfamily Rosoideae, and later in subfamily Dryadeae along with the genera Chamaebatia, Purshia and Dryas, all four genera sharing root nodules that host the nitrogen-fixing bacterium Frankia. However, recent genetic research indicates that Dryadeae may be polyphyletic, with Dryas not closely related to the other three genera.
The Alderleaf variety is prominent in the foothills of Colorado but usually remains under 1 meter in height because of incessant browsing by elk and deer. This variety of mountain-mahogany is generally located on the south or west facing slopes because it cannot thrive in the shade on the north facing slopes.