Red Maple







Red Maple

(Acer Rubrum L.)

Interesting Information About Plant: 

     The Red Maple was used by the early settlers to this area for ink due to the color of the leaves. The Red Maple is widely recognized by its leaves and used in craft products.  Some examples are place mats, and wall decorations. Also known as the scarlet and swamp maple it easily recognized from the fiery red leaves it drops in the fall. Out of all the maple trees on the east coast, the red maple has the widest distribution of growth. The color of the tree in the fall is fiery red and can be seen from an airplane. The leaves are also used for cinnamon, brown, and black dyes, by the early pioneers for various clothing, and materials, and sugar can also be extracted although its in very small quantities compared to that of the sugar maple. The wood of the red maple is pretty soft and can be used to make smaller objects like clothes hangers, interior finish, and furniture. Red Maple ranges in areas of growth throughout the East Coast of the U.S. from Newfoundland south to southern Florida all the way west to east Texas. And it can grow at altitudes of 6000 feet, but is usually planted in the United States as a street and yard tree.

Scientific Name: Acer Rubrum L. 

Family Name (Scientific and Common): Acer Maple

Continent of Origin: North America                                        

Plant Growth Habit: Tree

Height at Maturity: More than 10 Feet

Life Span: Perennial

Seasonal Habit: Deciduous Perennial

Growth Habitat: Full Sun 

Manner of Culture: Native Species

Thorns on Younger Stem: No

Cross Section of Younger Stem: Roundish

Stem (or Trunk) Diameter: More Than The Diameter of a Coffee-Mug 

Produces Brownish Bark: Yes

Bark Peeling in Many Areas: Yes

Characteristics of Mature (Brownish) Bark: Lines Go Up-Down  

Type of Leaf: Flat, Thin Leaf

Length of Leaf (or Leaflet): Length of a Credit Card and a Writing-Pen 

Leaf Complexity: Lobed

Edge of Leaf: Serrated

Leaf Arrangement: Opposite

Leaf has Petiole: Yes

Patterns of Main-Veins on Leaf (or Leaflet): Palmate

Leaf Hairiness: Somewhat Hairy

Color of Foliage in Summer: Green

Change in Color of Foliage in October: Changes to Reddish-Orange 

Flowering Season: Spring 

Flowers: Tightly Clustered 

Type of Flower: Colorful Flower

Color of Flower: Red 

Shape of Individual Flower: Radially Symmetrical 

Size of Individual Flower: Smaller than a Quarter

Sexuality: Male and Female on Same Plant

Size of Fruit: Between a Quarter and the Length of a Credit Card 

Fruit Fleshiness: Dry

Shape of Fruit: Long Pod   

Color of Fruit at Maturity: Red

Fruit Desirable to Birds or Squirrels: Yes

Common Name(s): Red Maple, Scarlet Maple, Swamp Maple

Louisville Plants That Are Most Easily Confused With This One: Red Oak, other Oaks…dr.

Unique Morphological Features of Plant: The green under leaf and Dark top of leaf

Poisonous: None of Plant

Pestiness (weedy, hard to control): No


Page prepared by:

Jennifer Hoban                                                

 November 2004

Information - 502.452.8000
© Bellarmine University, Louisville, KY 2002-2004