Red Maple
Acer rubrum
Family Aceraceae

* Leaves white and sometimes hairy beneath, 3-5 lobes, wide base lobes. 2-8"
* Bark smooth and gray when young, becoming darker and rougher with age.
* Twigs, buds, and leaf petiole reddish.
* Flowers red or yellow, in short clusters.
* Fruits reddish.
* Height: 20 - 40'.

Natural History:
* Flowers March - May.
* Fruits May - July.
* Habitat: Second-growth, wet forests.
* Range: Southeastern Canada and eastern United States.
* Native.

* The red maple has the widest natural range of any North American maple. Its wood, though not as hard as some other maple woods, is used to make furniture, flooring, kitchenware, and clothespins, among other items.

* American pioneers used the tannin in the red maple's bark to make ink. The ink's color was determined by the mineral, such as iron or alum, added to the tannin.

* Peter Kalm, a Swedish botanist and student of the taxonomist Linnaeus, wrote of the red maple in 1750:
"...out of its wood they make plates, spinning wheels, spools, feet for chairs and beds and many other kinds of turnery. With the bark they dye both worsted and linen, giving it a dark blue color."


Created by: Allaire Diamond and Jiasuey Hsu
Maintained by: Nick Rodenhouse
Created: July 31, 1998
Last Modified: November 21, 2008