=Habitat and Range.=--In damp forests, rocky highland woods, along the
sides of mountain brooks at altitudes of 500-1000 feet.
From Nova Scotia and Newfoundland to Saskatchewan.
Maine,--common, especially northward in the forests; New Hampshire and
Vermont,--common; Massachusetts,--rather common in western and central
sections, occasional eastward; Rhode Island,--occasional northward;
Connecticut,--occasional in northern and central sections; reported as
far south as North Branford (New Haven county).
Along mountain ranges to Georgia.
=Habit.=--Mostly a shrub, but occasionally attaining a height of 25
feet, with a diameter, near the ground, of 6-8 inches; characterized by
a short, straight trunk and slender branches; bright green foliage
turning a rich red in autumn, and long-stemmed, erect racemes of
delicate flowers, drooping at length beneath the weight of the maturing
=Bark.=--Bark of trunk thin, smoothish, grayish-brown; primary branches
gray; branchlets reddish-brown streaked with green, retaining in the
second year traces of pubescence; season's shoots yellowish-green,
reddish on the upper side when exposed to the sun, minutely pubescent.
=Winter Buds and Leaves.=--Buds small, flattish, acute, slightly
divergent from the stem. Leaves simple, opposite, 4-5 inches long,
two-thirds as wide, pubescent on both sides when unfolding, at length
glabrous on the upper surface, 3-lobed above the center, often with two
small additional lobes at the base, coarsely or finely serrate, lobes
acuminate; base more or less heart-shaped; veining 3-5-nerved,
prominent, especially on the lower side, furrowed above; leafstalks
long, enlarged at the base.
=Inflorescence.=--June. Appearing after the expansion of the leaves, in
long-stemmed, terminal, more or less panicled, erect or slightly
drooping racemes; flowers small and numerous, both kinds in the same
raceme, the fertile near the base; all upon very slender pedicels; lobes
of calyx 5, greenish, downy, about half as long as the alternating
linear petals; stamens usually 8, in the sterile flower nearly as long
as the petals, in the fertile much shorter; pistil rudimentary, hairy in
the sterile flower; in the fertile the ovary is surmounted by an erect
style with short-lobed stigma.
=Fruit.=--In long racemes, drooping or pendent; the keys, which are
smaller than those of any other American maple, set on hair-like
pedicels, and at a wide but not constant angle; at length reddish, with
a small cavity upon one side.
=Horticultural Value.=--Hardy in cultivation throughout New England;
prefers moist, well-drained, gravelly loam in partial shade, but grows
well in any good soil; easily transplanted, but recovers its vigor
rather slowly; foliage free from disease.
Seldom grown in nurseries, but readily obtainable from northern
collectors of native plants.
1. Winter buds.
2. Flowering branch.
3. Sterile flower.
4. Abortive ovary in sterile flower.
5. Fertile flower with part of the perianth and stamens removed.
6. Fruiting branch.
=Acer Pennsylvanicum, L.=
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