Red maple

Prepared by Jennifer L. D’Appollonio, Assistant Scientist, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469. March 2011.

Scientific name: Acer rubrum L.

Common name(s): red maple, swamp maple, scarlet maple

Links: USDA PLANTS Profile, NPIN Profile, Go Botany

Images: (to see enlargements [PC]: click on image, then right click and choose “view image”)


Multi-stemmed bush in the open with light gray bark and shiny, red, hairless twigs dotted with white lenticels. Leaves opposite with 3-5 lobes, 3″-4″ long with sharp angled lobes, dark green above and whitened underneath. Flowers appear in clusters in April, before leaf buds open. Male flowers, yellow-red, and female flowers bright scarlet, usually appear on separate trees. Prefers wetter soils.