Maple

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Maple
Acer pseudoplatanus (Sycamore Maple) foliage
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Sapindales
Family: Sapindaceae
Genus: Acer
L.
Distribution

Maple (Latin name Acer) is a genus of trees or shrubs. Sometimes they are made a familiy of their own, the Aceraceae. At other times they are included in the Sapindaceae. To include them in the Sapindaceae is the more modern classification. There are between 100 and 200 species of Maples. Most species are native to Asia, but some also occur in Europe, Northern Africa, and North America.

The word Acer comes from a Latin word meaning "sharp". It was given because of the characteristic sharp points on the maple leaves. The first person to talk about the genus that way was French botanist Joseph Pitton de Tournefort in 1700. The type species of the genus is Acer pseudoplatanus (Sycamore Maple).[1]

What are maples used for?[change | edit source]

Maple trees are often planted as ornamental trees in cities. Some species resist the cold rather well. Maples are also grown to make Maple syrup. Some maples are grown for timber (wood that is used for furniture).

Symbolism[change | edit source]

Manitoba maple

The flag of Canada shows a maple leaf.

References[change | edit source]

  1. van Gelderen, C. J. & van Gelderen, D. M. (1999). Maples for Gardens: A Color Encyclopedia