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Acer rubrum Linnaeus

Common names: red maple, carolina maple, eastern red maple, scarlet maple.
Synonyms: Acer carolinianum Walter, Acer drummondii W. Hooker & Arnott ex Nuttall, Acer rubrum Linnaeus ssp. drummondii (W. Hooker & Arnott ex Nuttall) E. Murray, Acer rubrum Linnaeus var. drummondii (W. Hooker & Arnott ex Nuttall) Sargent, Acer rubrum Linnaeus var. rubrum, Acer rubrum Linnaeus var. tomentosum Tausch, Acer rubrum Linnaeus var. tridens Wood, Acer rubrum Linnaeus var. trilobum Torrey & Gray ex K. Koch, Acer stenocarpum Britton, Rufacer carolinianum (Walter) Small, Rufacer drummondii (W. Hooker & Arnott ex Nuttall) Small, Rufacer rubrum (Linnaeus) Small.
Family: Sapindaceae.

Brief description:
A small to large-sized, deciduous tree, typically 1535 m (50115 ft.) tall when mature. Bark is gray and smooth, becoming furrowed and ridged with age, sometimes with plates. Young twigs are often red. Leaves are opposite, and shallowly to deeply palmately lobed (rarely unlobed). The leaf margins are irregularly serrate, with sinuses that are sharply V-shaped, unlike those of southern sugar maple (Acer barbatum) which are rounded. Also, the sides of terminal leaf lobes are widest at the base, tapering to the tip, while those of southern sugar maple are more or less parallel. Separate male and female flowers may occur on the same or on different trees, or they may be combined in bisexual flowers. Fruits consist of two, winged samaras that split apart when mature, sometimes traveling long distances on the breeze as they spin to the ground. One of the most widely distributed native trees in eastern North America.

USDA Profile

Herbarium sheet images:
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Live specimen images:

• Branchlet with leaves • Individual leaf 1 • Individual leaf 2 • Branchlet with buds • Close-up of buds • Branchlet with flowers • Close-up of flowers • Close-up of fruits •

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