Scientific Name: Acer rubrum var. trilobum

Common Name: red maple

Other Common Names: Carolina red maple

Synonyms: Acer carolinianum, Acer rubrum var. tridens, Rufacer carolinianum

Habit: Has a pyramidal shape at a young age and escalating branches with an irregular spherical crown. The red maple grows between 40-70 feet tall. Seedlings of this ornamental tree can be particularly troublesome in the home lawn.

Leaves: Leaves are bright yellow to orange to red in the fall. Leaf blades have medium green upper sides and light green to silvery undersides in the summer. Blades are about 3in long and 3in wide and are often triangular shape.

Identifying Characteristics: Ability to grow successfully on sites with very different moisture availability is due in part to the early development of roots specifically adapted to the conditions at a particular site.

Flower Seed Head: Noticeable long before the foliage emerges. They have small fragrant red flowers in dense clusters in late winter to early spring.

Seed Fruit: Seed is a paired, red, pink, or yellow, winged samara, about long. Fruits are winged with a single seed at the base.

Where Found: Grows in low, rich woods, along the margins of lakes, marshes, and swamps, also in wet thickets, floodplains and stream terraces.

  • Life cycle: perennial

  • Milky sap: Not Present

  • Plant type: Tree

  • Thorns: Not Present

  • Plant family: Aceraceae

  • Leaf arrangement: opposite

  • Leaf shape: round

  • Leaf margin: serrated

  • Ochrea: Not Present

  • Stem hairs: no hairs

  • Flower color: red

  • Growth habit: woody bush or tree

  • Stem: round or oval

  • Leaf structure: simple

  • Leaf hairs: no hairs; has hairs

  • Flower symmetry: not symmetrical

  • Flower diameter: pencil

  • Leaf stalk: shorter than leaf