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ACER glabrum

Image of Acer glabrum

Family

Aceraceae

Botanical Name

ACER glabrum

Plant Common Name

Rock Maple, Rocky Mountain Maple

General Description

Native to rocky slopes and moist ravines through much of western North America, this small, hardy, relatively drought tolerant maple makes a good choice for low-maintenance landscapes within its native range. An upright, typically multistemmed shrub or small tree, it has three- to five-lobed, shiny, medium-green leaves that sometimes are divided into three leaflets. Fall color is a yellow to orange. Although rather sparsely branched and rangy in shady sites, it forms a much denser plant in partial sun. Its greenish yellow flowers appear in early spring, followed by two-winged fruits that mature from green to brown. The smooth, red-brown to gray-brown bark becomes rough on older stems.

Give this maple partial shade and well-drained, acidic to slightly alkaline soil. It is useful as a specimen or for massing in naturalistic and informal plantings.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    6 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    4 - 6

  • Sunset Zone

    1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10

  • Plant Type

    Tree

  • Sun Exposure

    Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    6'-30' / 1.8m - 9.1m

  • Width

    5'-20' / 1.5m - 6.1m

  • Bloom Time

    Early Spring

  • Native To

    Western United States, Canada

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Upright/Erect

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Insignificant

  • Flower Color

    Yellow Green

  • Fruit Color

    Green, Pink, Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Yellow, Orange

  • Bark Color

    Purple, Brown, Gray

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Hedges, Mixed Border, Screening / Wind Break

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes