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Acer saccharum

Acer saccharum Marshall

Acer saccharum Marsh.

Sugar Maple

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassRosidaeRoses, legumes, proteas, dogwoods, hydrangeas, mistletoes, euphorbias, grapes, many more
OrderSapindalesIncludes citrus; maples, horse-chestnuts, lychees and rambutans; mangos and cashews; frankincense and myrrh; mahogany and neem
FamilySapindaceaeSoapberry family
SpeciessaccharumContaining sugar

About plant names...

Sugar maples are famous for their clear-running sap, tapped each year in the New England area to produce maple syrup. They also produce a light-colored, fine-grained durable wood that is prized for furniture. These maples are native to the northeastern regions of North America, and reach heights of 80-120' (24-36 m).

Acer saccharum (Sugar Maple)

Identification: Sugar maples are similar to Norway maples, but the leaves have more teeth. Sap from the base of a leaf stem is clear, vs. milky in Norway maples. The seedpods of Norway maples are almost completely opposite each other, while they typically form an angle of about 120° in sugar maples. Silver maples (with the similar-sounding name Acer saccharinum) have much more deeply lobed leaves (both species are found in about the same range). Black maples have leaves with 3 lobes and softer curves. Florida maples have leaves with velvety undersides and more rounded leaf tips, while sugar maples are not hairy. Florida maples are also found predominantly in Alabama, Mississippi, and Georgia (and some parts of Florida and nearby states), while sugar maples occur throughout much of the eastern United States.

Acer saccharum (Sugar Maple)

Sugar maples, like this one in southern Maine, are among the most colorful of trees in the fall.

Edibility: The sugary sap is boiled down to make maple syrup, a delicacy. Other portions of this tree are not edible.

Online References:

Acer saccharum on Earl J.S. Rook's Flora, Fauna, Earth, and Sky ... The Natural History of the Northwoods

Acer saccharum at the University of Florida Environmental Horticulture site

Acer saccharum at the Ohio State University PLANTFacts database

Acer saccharum at the USDA Forest Service's Silvics of North America site

Acer saccharum at the University of Connecticut Plant Database

Acer saccharum at the Virginia Tech Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation

Acer saccharum on plants.ces.ncsu.edu

Acer saccharum at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Acer saccharum on Plants for a Future, a resource and information centre for edible and otherwise useful plants

Acer saccharum description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 25 May 2020.

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Acer saccharum (Sugar Maple)

8/7/2017 · Groton Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 4 × 4" (10 × 10 cm)

Acer saccharum (Sugar Maple)

8/14/2009 · Nashua River Rail Trail, East Pepperell, MA
≈ 11 × 7" (27 × 18 cm)

Acer saccharum (Sugar Maple)

7/15/2020 · Garden in the Woods, Framingham, MA

Acer saccharum (Sugar Maple)

11/15/2011 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 3½ × 5" (9.2 × 13 cm)

Acer saccharum (Sugar Maple)

8/7/2017 · Groton Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 4½ × 4" (12 × 11 cm)

Acer saccharum (Sugar Maple)

8/14/2009 · Nashua River Rail Trail, East Pepperell, MA
≈ 11 × 7" (27 × 18 cm)


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