Acer macrophyllum Pursh
bigleaf maple (Oregon maple)
Sapindaceae (Horse-chestnut family)
(Previously in Aceraceae)

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Tom Duralia     (Photo ID #7565)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Acer macrophyllum
Click here to view the full interactive map and legend


Big-leaf maple is a large forest tree that reaches heights of 90 ft. or more. It abundantly self-seeds throughout our region.

Species Information

Large, deciduous, spreading tree up to 30 m tall; branches greenish barked, smooth; older bark greyish-brown, ridged and often covered with lichens and mosses.
Opposite, 10-30 cm wide, deeply 5-lobed, tips abruptly sharp-pointed, dark green above and paler green below, turning yellow in fall, stalks with milky juice when cut.
Inflorescence racemose with male and female flowers on the same plant; numerous on short stalks, appearing with or before the leaves; petals greenish-white,
Winged, in pairs, 3-6 cm long, yellowish-brown, hairy, pairs attached in a V-shape.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Mid Spring
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Brown
Present from Summer to Fall
Source:  The USDA


Ecological Framework for Acer macrophyllum

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres)
156 0 880
Slope Gradient (%)
17 0 194

Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]

138 10 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
4 0 7
Modal Nutrient Regime
# of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class

All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in

CDF(180), CWH(403), IDF(26)

Habitat and Range

Moist to mesic forests and open slopes in the lowland and montane zones; common in SW BC west of the Coast-Cascade Mountains; S to CA, disjunct in ID.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia