Terms of flowering honey plants in the USA and Canada

According to observations of naturalists and beekeepers.

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Common name:

Bigleaf maple

Scientific name:

Acer macrophyllum.

Other common name(s):

Bigleaf maple, Big-leaf maple, Oregon maple.

Life form:


Flowering time:

15 - 20 days.

Flowering period

in California for this plant is: Late MarchApril.

200 kilograms per ha


General distribution:

Bigleaf maple grows in mountainous regions. It is widespread in the Coast Ranges, the Klamath-Siskiyou Mountains, and the foothills of the Cascade Range and the northern Sierra Nevada, obtaining best development in southern Oregon. Some authors place bigleaf maple's distribution as far north as the Alaska panhandle. Isolated bigleaf maple populations may occur in Idaho.

Map of distribution and habitat in USA

This plant is present in at least 4 states/provinces in this country.

See The Map

Botanical description:

Bigleaf maple is a large, deciduous tree. It is typically about 50 feet (15 m) tall at maturity but sometimes grows more than 80 feet (20 m), making it the largest maple species in North America. Trees are generally as wide-spreading as they are tall. Open-grown trees usually develop broad, rounded crowns, with branches that often grow low to the ground and trunks from 2 to 5 feet (0.6-2 m) DBH. Shaded trees are usually pyramidal in form, with narrow crowns and clear, straight boles for one-half to two-thirds of their lengths

It was 88 feet (27 m) tall, 305 inches (775 cm) in circumference, and had a 104-foot (32 m) spread. On cutover sites, bigleaf maple usually grows in shrubby, multistemmed clumps. It also assumes a shrubby form in montane chaparral.

Bigleaf maple wood is moderately hard, but it is porous and not strong. Branches of mature trees are massive, spreading, and steeply inclined at the tips. The bark is thin, rarely more than 0.5 inches (1.3 cm) thick.

Bigleaf maple typically supports many epiphytes. Mosses, liverworts, and ferns hang from its branches or grow in branch crotches. Bigleaf maple's moss load is generally the greatest of all tree species in the Pacific Northwest.

As the common name claims, the leaves of this species are big. Bigleaf maple has the largest leaves of any North American maple, ranging from 4 to 10 inches (10-25 cm) across. Male and female flowers are clustered on the same raceme. The fruit is a bristly, bewinged achene or samara bearing one seed/wing.

Bigleaf maple is deep-rooted; hence, it is ranked low in susceptibility to windthrow.

Bigleaf maples live about 50 to 200 years.

Bigleaf maple tolerates short-term flooding, surviving periodic flooding in both active and upper stream channels. It does not tolerate sustained flooding.

Seasonal development:

Bigleaf maple germinates, and trees resume growth, early in the year. Flowers bloom before or with leave emergence. Bigleaf maple regenerates from seed and by sprouting. Insects pollinate bigleaf maple; these pollinators include bees, flies, and beetles.

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List of honey plants that may be blooming now in California
See the entire list

Cercis orbiculata (aka: California redbud, Western redbud, Arizona redbud, Judas tree, Cercis occidentalis)

Rubus ursinus (aka: California blackberry, California dewberry, California grapeleaf dewberry, Douglasberry, Pacific blackberry)

Rubus spectabilis (aka: Salmonberry)

Aesculus californica (aka: California buckeye, Buckeye, Horsechestnut)

Salix lucida (aka: Shining willow, Greenleaf willow, Tail-leaf willow, Whiplash willow, Pacific willow, Lance-leaf willow, Longleaf willow, Red willow, Western shining willow)

Salix scouleriana (aka: Scouler's willow, Upland willow)

Acer circinatum (aka: Vine maple)

Malus fusca (aka: Oregon crab, Oregon crab apple, Pacific crab apple, Western crab apple)

Salix bebbiana (aka: Bebb willow, Beak willow, Beaked willow, Long-beaked willow, Diamond willow, Chaton, Petit Minou, Smooth Bebb willow)

Salix lemmonii (aka: Lemmon's willow, Lemmon willow)

Salix lutea (aka: Yellow willow)

Astragalus (aka: Milkvetch, Locoweed, Goat's-thorn)

Salix boothii (aka: Booth's willow)

Salix geyeriana (aka: Geyer willow, Silver willow)

Robinia pseudoacacia (aka: Black locust, False acacia, Yellow locust, White locust, Green locust, Post locust, Falsa acacia, Robinia)

Rhamnus cathartica (aka: Common buckthorn, European buckthorn, Dahurian buckthorn)

Rubus laciniatus (aka: Cutleaf blackberry, Evergreen blackberry, Slashed blackberry)

Rhus glabra (aka: Smooth sumac, Common sumac, Rocky Mountain sumac, Red sumac, Western sumac, White sumac)

Brassica napus (aka: Rapeseed)

Sinapis arvensis (aka: Charlock mustard, California rape, Charlock, Corn mustard, Canola, Kaber mustard, Rapeseed mustard)

Gleditsia triacanthos (aka: Honey locust, Honey shucks locust, Common honeylocust, Sweet bean locust)

Asclepias tuberosa (aka: Butterflyweed, Butterfly Milkweed, Orange Milkweed, Pleurisy Root, Chigger Flower, Canada root, Fluxroot, Indian paintbrush, Indian posy, Orange root, Orange Swallow-wort, Tuber root, Yellow milkweed, White-root, Windroot, Butterfly love)

Calendula officinalis (aka: Marigold, Calendula, Pot marigold, English marigold)

Prunus virginiana (aka: Chokecherry, Western chokecherry, Common chokecherry, Black chokecherry)

Salix brachycarpa (aka: Shortfruit willow, Barren-ground willow, Small-fruit sand dune willow, Small-fruit willow)

Rubus idaeus (aka: Raspberry, Black-haired red raspberry, Brilliant red raspberry, American red raspberry, Red raspberry, Smoothleaf red raspberry, Wild raspberry, Wild red raspberry, Grayleaf raspberry)

Rubus parviflorus (aka: Thimbleberry, Western thimbleberry)

Amorpha fruticosa (aka: Desert false indigo, False indigo-bush, Bastard indigobush, Indigo Bush)

Brassica rapa (aka: Field mustard, Common mustard, Wild mustard, Wild turnip, Forage turnip, Wild rutabaga, Birdsrape mustard, Rape mustard)

Salix planifolia (aka: Diamondleaf willow, Planeleaf willow)

Rubus armeniacus (aka: Himalayan blackberry, Rubus discolor, Rubus procerus)

Salsola kali (aka: Russian thistle, Tumbleweed, Prickly saltwort)

Cucumis melo (aka: Cantaloupe, Rockmelon, Sweet melon, Spanspek, Honeydew melon, Honeymelon, Crenshaw, Casaba)

Citrullus lanatus (aka: Watermelon)

Cirsium arvense (aka: Creeping Thistle, Canada thistle, Field thistle, California thistle, Lettuce from hell thistle, Corn thistle, Cursed thistle, Green thistle, Hard thistle, Perennial thistle, Prickly thistle, Small-flowered thistle, Way thistle, Stinger-needles)

Borago officinalis (aka: Borage, Starflower, Common borage, Cool-tankard, Tailwort)