We have solved numerically the ground states of a Bose-Einstein condensate in the presence of dipolar interparticle forces using a semiclassical approach. Our motivation is to model, in particular, the spontaneous spin textures emerging in quantum gases with large dipole moments, such as Cr52 or Dy condensates, or ultracold gases consisting of polar molecules. For a pancake-shaped harmonic (optical) potential, we present the ground-state phase diagram spanned by the strength of the nonlinear coupling and dipolar interactions. In an elongated harmonic potential, we observe a helical spin texture. The textures calculated according to the semiclassical model in the absence of external polarizing fields are predominantly analogous to previously reported results for a ferromagnetic F=1 spinor Bose-Einstein condensate, suggesting that the spin textures arising from the dipolar forces are largely independent of the value of the quantum number F or the origin of the dipolar interactions. A? 2010 The American Physical Society.