Herbs & Plants

Acer rubrum

Botanical Name: Acer rubrum
Family: Sapindaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Sapindales
Genus: Acer
Section: Acer sect. Rubra
Species: A. rubrum

Common Names: Red Maple, Drummond’s maple, Swamp Maple, Soft maple

Habitat:Acer rubrum is native to Eastern N. America – Quebec to Florida, west to Texas, Minnesota and Ontario. It is Usually found in swamps and uplands, it also occasionally grows on dry rocky hillsides and sand dunes.

Acer rubrum is a deciduous Tree growing to 30 m (98ft 5in) at a fast rate. The leaves of Red maple are lobed with 3 to 5 lobes. The leaves are up to 10 cm (3.9 in) long. The leaves are green in summer. The leaf margin is serrated.Leaf shape: lobed leaf margin: serrated. leaf position: opposite
fall foliage: yellow – scarlet.

The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Wind.

It is in flower from March to April, and the seeds ripen from May to June. Blossom color: red
Blossom description: The red and pedunculated flowers sprout before the leaf shoots..

The fruit is a samara with two winged nutlets. The wings are red.


Landscape Uses:Firewood, Aggressive surface roots possible, Specimen, Street tree, Woodland garden. Of easy cultivation, it prefers a good moist well-drained soil, though this species succeeds in wetter soils than most other members of the genus. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Dislikes chalk according to one report, whilst others say that it does less well on chalk, often becoming chlorotic as a result of iron deficiency. Prefers a sunny position but tolerates some shade. Tolerates atmospheric pollution. A fast-growing tree for the first 20 – 30years of its life, it may live for 75 – 100 years. Red maple is a bad companion plant, inhibiting the growth of nearby plants. A variable species with several sub-species, there are also many named varieties that have been selected for their ornamental value. This species is often confused with A. saccharinum. Special Features:Attracts birds, North American native, Naturalizing, Wetlands plant, Attractive flowers or blooms.

Edible Uses:
The sap contains sugar and this can be used as a drink or be concentrated into a syrup by boiling off the water. The syrup is used as a sweetener on many foods. This species only yields about half the quantity obtained from the sugar maple (A. saccharum). It makes a good maple syrup although the yield is comparatively small. It can be harvested in late winter, the flow is best on warm sunny days following a frost. The best sap production comes from cold-winter areas with continental climates. Inner bark – cooked. It is dried, ground into a powder and then used as a thickening in soups etc or mixed with cereals when making bread. Self-sown seedlings, gathered in early spring, are eaten fresh or dried for later use. Seeds – cooked. The wings are removed and the seeds boiled then eaten hot. The seed is very small, about 5mm long, and is produced in small clusters…

Medicinal Uses:
The bark has astringent properties and has been used as an application for sore eyes. The inner bark was used according to one report. An infusion of the bark has been used to treat cramps and dysentery.

Other Uses:
The leaves are packed around apples, rootcrops etc to help preserve them. The boiled inner bark yields a purple colour. Mixed with lead sulphate this produces a black dye which can also be used as an ink.. The dye is dark blue according to another report. The wood is used to make basket splints. This species can successfully establish itself in recently cleared areas and partially open woodlands. It can therefore be used as a pioneer species to speed the regeneration of woodland. Wood – not strong, close grained, hard, very heavy. It weighs 38lb per cubic foot. The grain of some old specimens is undulated, this gives beautiful effects of light and shade on polished surfaces. The wood is commonly used for making furniture, turnery, pulp, etc

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.