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Acer grandidentatum (Bigtooth maple)
Marcus, Joseph A.

Acer grandidentatum

Acer grandidentatum Nutt.

Bigtooth Maple, Big-toothed Maple, Uvalde Bigtooth Maple, Southwestern Bigtooth Maple, Canyon Maple, Sabinal Maple, Western Sugar Maple

Aceraceae (Maple Family)


USDA Symbol: acgr3

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

Small to medium-sized tree with short trunk and spreading, rounded, dense crown; often a shrub. 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. The scientific name, meaning "large-toothed," refers to the leaves.


From the Image Gallery

37 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

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
Fruit Type: Samara
Size Notes: Up to about 45 feet tall.
Leaf: Dk green above, pale under with some fuzz.
Autumn Foliage: yes
Fruit: Green, 25 mm

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 , NM , NV , 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

Mr. Smarty Plants says

Plants for wildlife and trees for shade.
September 29, 2007
We live in Kempner Texas, our land has mostly cedar trees. We would like to make a wildlife habitat on the back side of our property. Can you recommend plants that will grow in shade to partial sun,...
view the full question and answer

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - Austin, TX
Texas Discovery Gardens - Dallas, TX
Sibley Nature Center - Midland, TX
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department - Austin, TX
NPSOT - Fredericksburg Chapter - Fredericksburg, TX
NPSOT - Austin Chapter - Austin, TX
NPSOT - Williamson County Chapter - Georgetown, TX


Bibref 298 - Field Guide to Texas Trees (1999) Simpson, B.J.
Bibref 355 - Landscaping with Native Plants of Texas and the Southwest (1991) Miller, G. O.
Bibref 841 - Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants (2006) Burrell, C. C.
Bibref 318 - Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region (2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski
Bibref 291 - Texas Wildscapes: Gardening for Wildlife (1999) Damude, N. & K.C. Bender

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Additional resources

USDA: Find Acer grandidentatum in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Acer grandidentatum in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Acer grandidentatum


Record Modified: 2022-09-15
Research By: NPC, JSC

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