Flora of the Southeastern United States
2022 Edition


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Acer spicatum Lamarck. Section: Spicata. Mountain Maple. Phen: May-Jul; Aug-Oct. Hab: High elevation forests (northern hardwoods or spruce-fir), generally above 1500 m in NC, above 900 m in VA, especially common in periglacial boulderfields. Dist: NL (Newfoundland), NL (Labrador), and SK south to PA, OH, and IA, and in the mountains to w. NC, nw. SC (Bradley et al. [in prep.]), e. TN, ne. GA, and ne. AL.

ID notes: The foliage is quite similar to that of Acer rubrum var. rubrum, with which it can occur; in addition to the key characters, A spicatum can be distinguished from A. rubrum by its leaves which have a strongly rugose texture, the secondary and tertiary veins impressed on the upper surface, distinctly raised on the lower (vs. not rugose, the secondary and tertiary veins only slightly impressed on the upper surface, and slightly raised on the lower). A. spicatum is also sometimes confused with A. pensylvanicum, but these two species are readily distinguished by their leaves (see key).

Origin/Endemic status: Native

Syn: = C, F, G, K1, K3, K4, Mi, NE, NY, Pa, RAB, S, Tn, Va, W, Murray (1970)

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image of plant© Joey Shaw source
image of plant© Richard & Teresa Ware
image of plant© Alan M. Cressler
image of plant© Richard & Teresa Ware