Silver Maple

Acer saccharinum

A medium tree usually less than 60′ rarely 80′ in S.E. Texas, rounded crown.

Leaves: deciduous, opposite, simple, circular, 6″ to 7″ in diameter, deeply palmately 5 lobed, heart shaped or flattened, margin coarsely serrate, pale green above, silvery beneath.

Flowers: Polygamous; appearing before the leaves, in dense, sessile, axillary clusters in previous year’s twigs, stamens, 3 to 7, with red anthers, pistil, short, pubescent, with 2 conspicuous, divergent styles.

Fruit: wrinkled reddish brown, double samara with divergent wings, 1″ to 2″ long.

Twigs: Slender, brittle, lustrous, reddish brown, many conspicuous lenticels, terminal buds, ovate, blunt, red, 1/5″ long with 2 to 4 pairs of overlapping scales.

Bark: At first thin, smooth, silvery, long loose scaly plates at maturity.

Comments: Largely restricted to rich, moist bottomland sites, planted as an ornamental shade tree, a noxious species. Not recommended for planting.

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