Terms of flowering honey plants in the USA and Canada

According to observations of naturalists and beekeepers.

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Scientific name:

Acer macrophyllum

Common name(s):

Bigleaf maple, Big-leaf maple, Oregon maple.

Life form:


Flowering time:

15 - 20 days.

Flowering period

in Oregon for this plant is: AprilMay.

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.

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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 Oregon
See the entire list

Acer rubrum (aka: Red maple, Scarlet maple)

Acer negundo (aka: Boxelder, Western boxelder, Arizona boxelder, California boxelder, Texas boxelder, Interior boxelder, Violet boxelder)

Celtis laevigata (aka: Hackberry, Sugarberry, Lowland hackberry, Sugar hackberry, Arizona sugarberry, Netleaf hackberry, Small's hackberry, Southern hackberry, Texas sugarberry)

Pyrus communis (aka: European pear, Common pear)

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

Rubus spectabilis (aka: Salmonberry)

Acer glabrum (aka: Rocky Mountain maple, Douglas maple, Greene's maple, New Mexico maple, Torrey maple)

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 exigua (aka: Narrowleaf willow, Coyote willow)

Acer macrophyllum (aka: Bigleaf maple, Big-leaf maple, Oregon maple)

Crataegus douglasii (aka: Black hawthorn, Douglas hawthorn, River hawthorn, Western thornapple)

Populus tremuloides (aka: Quaking aspen, Trembling aspen, Aspen, American aspen, Mountain aspen, Golden aspen, Trembling poplar, White poplar, Popple, Alamo Blanco)

Acer circinatum (aka: Vine maple)

Prunus emarginata (aka: Bitter cherry)

Prunus pumila (aka: Sandcherry, Western sandcherry, Eastern sandcherry, Great Lakes sandcherry)

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

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)

Malus domestica (aka: Pyrus pumila, Malus pumila, Apple)

Acer platanoides (aka: Norway maple)

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

Salix drummondiana (aka: Drummond's willow, Beautiful willow, Blue willow)

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

Salix boothii (aka: Booth's willow)

Salix lutea (aka: Yellow willow)

Salix planifolia (aka: Diamondleaf willow, Planeleaf willow)

Salix amygdaloides (aka: Peachleaf willow, Peach leaf willow)

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

Ajuga reptans (aka: Bugle, Blue bugle, Bugleherb, Bugleweed, Carpetweed, Carpet bugleweed, Common bugle, St. Lawrence plant)

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

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)

Salix geyeriana (aka: Geyer willow, Silver willow)

Brassica napus (aka: Rapeseed)

Allium schoenoprasum (aka: Chives)

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

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