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

-light gray bark

-shiny, red, hairless twigs dotted with white lenticels

-Leaves are

  • opposite with 3-5 lobes
  • 3″-4″ long with sharp angled lobes
  • dark green above and whitened underneath


  • appear in clusters in April, before leaf buds open
  • Male flowers, yellow-red, and female flowers bright scarlet
  • appear on separate trees.


-Prefers wetter soils


-dry ridges

-peat bogs


-moderately well drained soils



Walters, Russel S, and Harry W Yawney. “Red Maple.” Acer Rubrum L, USDA,