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Acer glabrum Torr.
Rocky Mountain maple
USDA Symbol: acgl
USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.
Rocky Mountain maple is a multi-stemmed, 10-30 ft. tree or shrub with a 10-15 ft. spread. Though inconspicuous, the early spring flowers of this maple are quite fragrant. Its shiny, green, deciduous leaves turn yellow to reddish-orange in fall. Smooth, gray bark; red twigs; and reddish, winged seeds provide winter interest. The northernmost maple in the New World, it extends through southeastern Alaska. The Latin species name, meaning hairless, refers to the leaves.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Tree Leaf Retention: Deciduous Leaf Arrangement: Opposite Leaf Complexity: Simple Leaf Margin:
Lobed , Serrate Size Notes:
A small tree
with slender, spreading branches. Leaf:
Green above with lighter veins, slightly paler below. Flower:
Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color:
Yellow , Green Bloom Time:
Apr , May Bloom Notes:
in small clusters.
AK , AZ , CA , CO , ID , MT , NE , NM , NV , OR , SD , UT , WA , WY Canada: AB Native Distribution:
Mts. of western U.S. Native Habitat:
Wooded hills; ravines along streams; above 4500 ft. USDA Native Status: L48(N),
AK (I?), CAN(N)
Growing ConditionsWater Use:
Low Light Requirement:
Sun CaCO3 Tolerance:
Medium Soil Description:
Moist, well-drained, rocky soils. Conditions Comments:
Though not as handsome as vine
maple, this species is more cold hardy. Rocky Mountain maple does not tolerate heat and its leaves may scorch if grown in open, hot, dry and windy sites.
BenefitUse Wildlife: Deer, elk, cattle, and sheep browse the foliage.
Interesting Foliage: yes
Can be propagated from seeds sown soon after harvest. Seed Collection:
As soon as samaras turn yellowish or reddish brown and the seeds inside are firm, filled out, and dark brown. Best to gather from the tree
as seeds that have already dropped lose viability quickly and are easily infested. Seed is usually not extracted from the samara. Keep in cold, moist storage. Seed Treatment:
Best results from seeds are obtained by alternating warm & cold stratification. Commercially Avail:
From the National Organizations Directory
According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:
Native Seed Network
- Corvallis, OR
Recommended Species Lists
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Record Modified: 2007-01-01
Research By: TWC Staff