At a Glance: Tall, erect, multi-trunked shrub or small tree with sprawling branches.
|Sun/Shade Tolerance||Hydrology||Elevation Range||
Shade tolerant and commonly found in understories.
full sun > 80%
mostly sunny 60%-80%
partial sun and shade 40%- 60%
mostly shady 60%-80%
full shade > 80%
|Favors well drained moist to wet soils.
Wetland Indicator Status:
FACU (facultative upland)
Found at elevations below 760 meters.
|Prefers well drained, nitrogen-rich soils.|
well drained soils
nutrient rich soils
nutrient poor soils
Aquatic and Wetland:
Ponds or lakes
Swales or wet ditches
Seasonally inundated areas
Marshes or swamps
Aquatic bed wetlands
Seeps, springsShorelines and Riparian:
Streams or rivers
Stream or river banks
In or near saltwater
Coastal dunes or beachesRocky or Gravelly Areas:
Slide areasSub-alpine and Alpine:
Forests and Thickets:
Forests and woods
Old growth forests
Forest edges, openings, or clearings
ThicketsMeadows and Fields:
Pastures or fields
Meadows or grassy areas
Mossy areasDisturbed Areas:
Nectar for hummingbirds
Nectar for butterflies
Host for insect larvae
Thickets and shelter
Thorny or protective cover
Birds: Birds that eat the seeds include grosbeaks, woodpeckers, nuthatches, finches, quail, and grouse.
Insects: A larvae plant for the brown tissue moth and the Polyphemus moth. A good nectar source for bees.
Mammals: Deer, mountain beavers, and other beavers eat the twigs and wood.
|Ethnobotanical Uses and Other Facts||
Material Uses: Vine maple wood is very dense and hard. It was used by northwest native groups to build snowshoe frames, drum hoops, and a variety of other small implements such as spoons and dishes. The Quinault peoples used the hard wood to make baskets. The Quinault, Chehalis, Quileute, and Lummi used the wood to construct dipnet fish traps. The Quinault also used the wood to hold down the roof planks on houses. The Skagit used the wood to make babies cradles and salmon tongs. Many groups used the wood for fire fuel. The Quinault used the burnt charcoal and mixed it with oil to make black paint. The Suquamish and Cowichan used the wood to make knitting needles. The Suquamish and Katzie also sometimes used the wood to make bows from the straighter branches.
- Cooke, S.S. A Field Guide to the Common Wetland Plants of Western Washington and Northwetern Oregon. Seattle Audubon Society and Washington Native Plant Society. Page 19.
- Guard, B.J. 1995. Wetland Plants of Oregon & Washington. Lone Pine Publishing. Page 194.
- Gunther, E. 1973. 2nd ed. Ethnobotany of Western Washington. University of Washington Press. Page 40.
- Jacobson A.L. 2001. Wild Plants of Greater Seattle. Published by author. Page 88.
- Link, R. 1999. Landscaping for Wildlife in the Pacific Northwest. University of Washington Press. Page 245.
- Lyons, C., W. Merilees. Trees and Shrubs to Know in Washington and British Columbia. Lone Pine Publishing. Page 95.
- Pojar, J., A. Mackinnon. 1994. Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast. Lone Pine Publishing. Page 93.
- Turner, N.AJ. 1975. Food Plants of British Columbia Indians: part 1, Coastal Peoples. British Columbia Provincial Museum. Page 127.
The landscaping and restoration information provided on this page is taken from the Starflower Foundation Image Herbarium. All photographs © Starflower Foundation unless otherwise noted.