names: southern sugar maple, Florida maple, hammock maple.
Synonyms: Acer barbatum Michaux var. longii (Fernald)
Fernald, Acer barbatum Michaux var. villipes (Rehder)
Ashe, Acer floridanum (Chapman) Pax, Acer floridanum
(Chapman) Pax var. longii Fernald, Acer floridanum (Chapman)
Pax var. villipes Rehder, Acer nigrum Michaux f. var.
floridanum (Chapman) Fosberg, Acer saccharinum Linnaeus
var. floridanum Chapman, Acer saccharum Marshall ssp.
floridanum (Chapman) Desmarais, Acer saccharum Marshall
var. floridanum (Chapman) Small & Heller, Saccharodendron
barbatum (Michaux) Nieuwland, Saccharodendron floridanum
A small to medium-sized, deciduous tree usually ranging from 15–25
m. (50–80 ft.) tall when mature. Bark is light gray and smooth on
younger trees, becoming ridged and furrowed with age. Leaves are opposite
and shallowly to deeply palmately lobed, with a few blunt teeth but
no serrations. The leaf sinuses are rounded, unlike those of red maple
(Acer rubrum) which are sharply V-shaped. Also, the sides of
terminal leaf lobes are more or less parallel, while those of red
maple are widest at the base, tapering to the tip. The leaf tips of
southern sugar maple often droop. Fruits consist of two, winged samaras
that split apart when mature, sometimes traveling long distances on
the breeze as they spin to the ground. Southern sugar maple can be
difficult to distinguish from its more northern relative, sugar maple
(Acer saccharum), which is commonly planted in the North Carolina
Piedmont. The leaves of southern sugar maple are usually somewhat
smaller though, and the lower leaf surfaces typically hairy, while
the larger leaves of sugar maple mostly lack hairs, or bear them only
on the veins.
with leaves Individual
with buds Close-up
of buds Close-up