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Acer barbatum Michaux

Common 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 (Chapman) Nieuwland.
Family: Sapindaceae.

Brief description:
A small to medium-sized, deciduous tree usually ranging from 1525 m. (5080 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.

USDA Profile

Herbarium sheet images:
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Live specimen images:

• Branchlet with leaves • Individual leaf • Branchlet with buds • Close-up of buds • Close-up of fruits •

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