Encyclopedia > Maple

  Article Content


See also Maple computer algebra system.
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Sapindales
Family: Aceraceae
Genus: Acer
  • Acer campestre - hedge maple
  • Acer ginnala - Amur maple
  • Acer griseum - paperbark maple
  • Acer japonicum - fullmoon maple
  • Acer macrophyllum - bigleaf maple
  • Acer negundo - boxelder[?] or Manitoba maple
  • Acer nigrum - black maple
  • Acer palmatum - Japanese maple
  • Acer platanoides - Norway maple
  • Acer pseudoplatanus - sycamore maple
  • Acer rubrum - red maple
  • Acer saccharinum - silver maple or water maple[?]
  • Acer saccharum - sugar maple
  • Full List of Acer species

Maples are trees of the genus Acer in the order Sapindales, variously classified in the family Aceraceae, Hippocastanaceae, or Sapindaceae. Their distinctive key, or samara, which contains the seeds, is designed to whirl as it falls and occasionally be carried great distances by the wind.

Maples bloom in late winter or early spring, in some species before the leaves appear. Their flowers are small and inconspicuous, though the effect of an entire avenue of maples in bloom can be striking. They have five sepals, five petals about 3 mm long, twelve stamens about 1 cm long in two rings of six, and two pistils or a pistil with two styles. The ovary is superior and has two carpels, whose wings elongate the flowers, making it easy to tell which flowers are female. Within a few weeks of blooming, the trees drop large numbers of seeds.

The leaves in most species are palmately[?] veined, with 3-9 veins, one of which is in the middle. Several species, including the paperbark maples, Acer griseum, Manchurian maple, Acer mandshuricum, Nikko maple, Acer nikoense, and three-flower maple, Acer triflorum, have trifoliate[?] leaves. The box elder (Acer negundo) has pinnately compound leaves that may be simply trifoliate or may have 5, 7, or even 9 leaflets. One maple, the hornbeam maple, Acer carpinifolium, has pinnately-veined leaves that resemble those of the hornbeam.

The sugar maple (Acer saccharum) is tapped for sap, which is then boiled to produce maple syrup or made into maple sugar or maple candy. Quebec is the world's largest producer of maple sugar products.

The flag of Canada depicts a maple leaf.


A draft synopsis of the family Aceraceae:


All Wikipedia text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

  Search Encyclopedia

Search over one million articles, find something about almost anything!
  Featured Article
Kings Park, New York

... population is spread out with 25.2% under the age of 18, 5.7% from 18 to 24, 31.9% from 25 to 44, 23.3% from 45 to 64, and 13.9% who are 65 years of age or older. Th ...

This page was created in 22.2 ms