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Key to southeastern U.S. Acer (maple) species


Aceraceae - the maple family


Note: distinctive features are shown in bold text.  Click on a term for its definition.  Click on any image to see it enlarged. Then use your browser's Back button to return.


General: woody, shrubs and trees, deciduous temperate

A. spicatum

A. saccharum


Leaves: opposite, usually simple, palmate venation, no stipules

A. pensylvanicum

A. saccharinum



Inflor: cyme, raceme, umbel




Flower: regular, functionally dioecious, monecious, or perfect



floral structure
calyx (sepals)
corolla (petals)
androecium (anthers)
gynoecium (carpels)
number of parts
0 or (4-)5(-8)
(4-)5(-8) or (8-)10(-16)
joined some at base
on a disk

A. saccharum
2 linear stigmas on one style, lobed superior ovary, axile

A. saccharinum



Fruit: 2 winged double samara, 2 ovules form one seed


A. saccharum


Uses: durable shock-proof wood, syrup, ornamental, filter charcoal


Acer negundo (box elder)
Acer pensylvanicum (striped maple or moosewood)
Acer rubrum (red maple)
Acer saccharinum (silver maple)
Acer saccharum  (sugar maple)
Acer spicatum (mountain maple)


View taxonomy at
View taxonomy at National Center for Biotechnology Information
View phylogeny at Tree of Life

This information originated from notes taken in a plant taxonomy class taught by Robert Kral at Vanderbilt University
Images copyright 2002-03 Steve Baskauf - Terms of use