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Acer spicatum Lam.

Mountain 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
SpeciesspicatumMeans “with flowers in spikes”

About plant names...

Mountain maple is native to southeastern Canada and the northeastern United States.

Identification: Mountain maple is a small tree or shrub, up to 33′ (10 m) in height, but usually much smaller, especially at the northern end of its range. The trunk is short, often crooked, and often shrublike. It is found in cool woods, growing in shade or sun. This is easily confused with striped maple—both are found in mountain forests, and both are small trees with three-lobed leaves—but mountain maple is found at higher elevations. To further confuse matters, there is a western species, Acer glabrum, that is also called mountain maple. (See Acer for comparisons.)

Online References:

The USDA Forest Service's Fire Effects Information Database

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


The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

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

The Virginia Tech Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation


Acer spicatum description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 14 Sep 2023.

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Acer spicatum (mountain maple)

10/3/2010 · Tarkill Interpretive Trail, Rte 402, Poconos, Peck’s Pond, Penn­syl­vania · ≈ 2 × 1′ (62 × 41 cm)

Acer spicatum (mountain maple)

10/3/2010 · Tarkill Interpretive Trail, Rte 402, Poconos, Peck’s Pond, Penn­syl­vania


About this map...