Fall is in the air in Los Angeles. No, we don’t really have “fall colors” or “sweater weather.” At least not yet – we get a little of that in February and March. Fall at our studio is a low of 57 degrees with a high of 75. Sometimes we get an occasional burst of heat that makes a beach day absolutely necessary. Occasionally we get a few minutes of barely a drizzle – then we talk about the rain for days. Ok, so our season changes are barely perceptible. But that doesn’t mean we don’t feel it. And certainly our native plants do. So to celebrate being a Los Angeles Native, and inspired by the fact that I’m currently fascinated by native plants and their traditional uses, I’m starting a California Native Botanical Coloring Page series! For the first installment I’m starting with one of our native staples for fall color, the Big Leaf Maple or Acer Macrophyllum.
Want to get the same pencils we used? We can help! We’ve got them on sale in our store right now.
… A little more about the BIG LEAF MAPLE
The Big Leaf Maple is native from Alaska to Southerns California. The name Macrophyllum literally translates to Large Leaf (marco=large, phyllum=leaf). Its leaves can be up to 12 inches across – the largest of any Maple! A mature Acer Macrophyllum can reach 100 ft tall and 50 ft wide. These trees provide a vital habitat for lichen, moss, ferns and birds.
Native Americans carved paddles from this tree, wove ropes from the fibrous bark and make a sweet syrup from the sap. They even ate the flowers and seeds and made tea from the leaves!
Nature is an amazing muse. Take some time to explore the natives growing around you and join us in celebrating the changing seasons.
For more information about the Big Leaf Maple, check out these sites:
- Acer macrophyllum at Las Pilitas Nursery
- Acer macrophyllum on Wikipedia
- Acer macrophyllum at Hansen’s Northwest Native Plant Database