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Botanical Name: Acer rubrum

Common Name: Red Maple
Origin: E. & C. North America
Location: CSW, KN

Notable Feature: Red Maple is aptly named, as its flowers, petioles or leaf stalks, twigs and seeds are all red to varying degrees, but it is best known for its brilliant deep scarlet foliage in fall.

Habit: A medium to large, deciduous tree, usually 40 to 70 feet tall, but capable of reaching over 100 feet.  The scaly, gray-brown bark in older trees is very attractive.  This native tree has a very large geographic and climatic range throughout the eastern United States and adjacent Canada.

Flower: Showy, red and orange flowers occur in hanging clusters in March and April before the leaves emerge.  Flowers are polygamo-dioecious, either perfect (bisexual) or dioecious (male and female flowers are borne on separate trees).  

Fruit: Clusters of ½ to ¾-inch long samaras with slightly divergent wings (akin to “helicopters”), on long, slender stems.  Light brown and often reddish, ripening in late spring and early summer.

Foliage: Medium green on the upper side and gray-green or frosty beneath.  The opposite leaves are 2 to 4” long with 3 or 5 palmate lobes.

Interesting Fact: Red maple is used as a food source by several forms of wildlife.  White-tailed deer use the current season's growth as an important source of winter food.  Seeds are eaten by squirrels and birds; bees and butterflies (Tiger Swallowtails and Mourning Cloaks) visit the flowers.

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