Acer glabrum
(Rocky Mountain Maple)

Subclass: Rosidae
Order: Sapindales
Family: Aceraceae
Family Description: Maple

Key Characteristics:
Shrub or small tree; 3-10 meters tall; reddish new branchlets; old bark is grayish. (Rocky Mountain Maple or Douglas Maple)
  • rounded in outline
  • glabrous
  • simple with 5 lobes or compound with 3 leaflets
  • palmately veined
  • numerous pointed teeth
  • turn yellow in the fall
  • unisexual
  • 7-10 stamens
  • a two winged v-shaped samara

General Description:
Large shrub or small tree usually found above 5000' elev. on north slopes or more moist sites. Trunks are usually in a clump and vary from ½ inch to 5 inches in diameter and grow from 6 to 30 feet tall.
  The flowers are about the size of a dime, yellowish in color, not showy, may be unisexual or bisexual in the same cluster. Flowers may have petals which look like the sepals or have no petals. Some plants have only one sex per plant (dioecious) while others have both sexes on the same plant (monoecious).
  The 2-winged, u-shaped fruits (samaras) are eaten by squirrels and rodents. The wings usually form an angle of < 90 degrees.
  Can be recognized by: 1. 3- to 5- lobed, 3-5" leaves (sometimes trifoliate) with many pointed (rather than rounded) teeth. 2. Leaves turn yellow in the fall.

Alberta to British Columbia south to New Mexico and California, thus throughout Idaho.

Mountains; Frequently near water or in ravines.

Young shoots were utilized by Native Americans like asparagus.

Important State References:
No information available at this time
Photos and Information written by Dr. Karl E. Holte,© 2002