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

 Native Plant Database

Acer saccharinum

Silver maple, Soft maple, White maple

Aceraceae (Maple Family)

Acer saccharinum (Silver maple)
Makin, Julie
Large tree with short, stout trunk, few large forks, spreading, open, irregular crown of long, curving branches, and graceful cut-leaves. A large canopy tree, 75-100 ft. tall, silver maple’s massive, ascending limbs form a graceful, oval or rounded crown. Plump, red flower buds are visible in winter and the first to bloom in spring. Deeply-cut, deciduous leaves are silvery underneath. Fall color ranges from yellow-brown to yellow tinged with bright red.

Its rapid growth makes Silver Maple a popular shade tree; however, its form is not generally pleasing, its brittle branches are easily broken in windstorms, and the abundant fruit produces litter. Sugar can be obtained from the sweetish sap, but yield is low. Landscape value should be tempered as it becomes a liability with age. Silver maple sap is only half as sweet as that of sugar maple (Acer saccharum), but with patient boiling it yields a delicious pale syrup.

Image Gallery:

33 photo(s) available

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Tree
Leaf: Green
Autumn Foliage: yes
Fruit: Green, Brown
Size Class: 72-100 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Red , Yellow
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr


USA: AL , AR , CT , DE , FL , GA , IL , IN , IA , KS , KY , LA , ME , MD , MA , MI , MN , MS , MO , NE , NH , NJ , NY , NC , ND , OH , OK , PA , RI , SC , SD , TN , VT , VA , WV , WI , DC
Canada: NB , NS , ON , QC
Native Distribution: N.B. to e. Ont. & MN, s. to n.w. FL, e. OK & e. NE
Native Habitat: Rich bottomlands; moist hillsides; river banks

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium
Soil Description: Rich, wet to moist, slightly acid soils.


Warning: Will cause sidewalks to buckle and drain tiles to clog. Should be considered in areas of poor soils where few other species will survive.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Attracts: Birds

Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)

Acer saccharinum is a larval host and/or nectar source for:
Cecropia silkmoth
(Hyalophora cecropia)

Food Source
Learn more at BAMONA

Last Update: 2013-06-27