Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - The University of Texas at Austin information

 Native Plant Database

Acer grandidentatum

Bigtooth maple, Big-toothed maple, Uvalde bigtooth maple, Southwestern bigtooth maple, Canyon maple, Sabinal maple, Western sugar maple

Aceraceae (Maple Family)

Acer grandidentatum (Bigtooth maple)
Cox, Paul
A shrubby or somewhat tree-like maple, this species usually matures at 10-15 ft. but is sometimes taller. Its bark is dark brown and scaly and is branches are stout and erect. The thickish, three- to five-lobed deciduous leaves turn bright red and gold in the fall. Small to medium-sized tree with short trunk and spreading, rounded, dense crown; often a shrub. The scientific name, meaning large-toothed, refers to the leaves.

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31 photo(s) available

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub , Tree
Root Type: Fibrous
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Leaf Arrangement: Opposite
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Venation: Palmate
Leaf Pubescence: Puberulent
Leaf Margin: Dentate , Lobed
Leaf Apex: Obtuse
Leaf Base: Cordate
Breeding System: Flowers Unisexual , Dioecious
Size Notes: 20-45
Leaf: Dk green above, pale under with some fuzz.
Autumn Foliage: yes
Flower: Flowers insignificant
Fruit: Green, 25 mm
Size Class: 36-72 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow , Green
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr
Bloom Notes: Flowers are small, in hanging clusters, appearing with the leaves.


USA: AZ , CO , ID , MT , NV , NM , TX , UT , WA , WY
Native Distribution: SE. Idaho south to Arizona and east to S. New Mexico and Trans-Pecos Texas; local in Edwards Plateau of S. central Texas, SW. Oklahoma, and N. Mexico; at 4000-7000 (1219-2134 m); locally to 1500 (457 m).
Native Habitat: Moist soils of canyons in mountains and plateaus; in woodlands.

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Moist
CaCO3 Tolerance: None
Cold Tolerant: yes
Heat Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Moist soils, Limestone-based, Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay, Calcareous
Conditions Comments: Propagation mostly by seed. Great fall color.


Use Ornamental: The showy autumn foliage makes it suitable as an ornamental.
Use Food: The western relative of Sugar Maple, Canyon Maple has sweetish sap used locally to prepare maple sugar.
Use Other: The wood provides good fuel.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Interesting Foliage: yes
Deer Resistant: High

Last Update: 2016-01-06