Native to the western United states and Canada, rocky mountain maple is a large deciduous shrub that inhabits a variety of mountainous habitats. It can grow in full sun on dry ridges at mid to high elevations, in rocky canyons and gorges, or in part shade in moist locations along streams, seeps or lake margins. Rocky mountain maple can also grow as an understory plant in forests and along forest margins. This multi-stemmed shrub is known to grow up to 30′ tall, but in the Klamath-Siskiyou Ecoregion it typically grows 10′-20′ tall. Rocky mountain maple has yellowish-green flowers that bloom in late spring. The fruit is a samara with two winged seeds. It is grown as an ornamental shrub in many gardens due to its showy fall color (yellow, orange, or red). Many large animals browse the stems and leaves of rocky mountain maple and small mammals and birds eat the seeds. It is also a larval host plant to numerous butterflies and moths, including Western tiger swallowtail butterfly, mourning cloak butterfly, and the elegant sheep moth. Rocky mountain maple will do best with some summer irrigation when grown at low elevations.
Seed Germination Instructions
6 months warm-moist stratification followed by 6 months cold-moist stratification, OR 2-6 months cold-moist stratification followed by warm-moist stratification for 90 days.