Striped Maple (Acer pensylvanicum)

Plantae>Magnoliophyta>Magnoliopsida>Sapindales>Aceraceae>Acer pensylvanicum L.

Striped Maple (Acer pensylvanicum) leaves

A common medium-sized maple of the Mountains, Striped Maple is named for its distinctive green bark with whitish stripes (see below).

Clay Co., NC 5/12/06.

Striped Maple (Acer pensylvanicum) leaves

The leaves are similar to Mountain Maple (A. spicatum), a species found at higher elevations in the Mountains, but are more finely toothed and yellow-hairy (instead of white-hairy) beneath. The easiest way to tell the two apart is the bark, which is gray-brownish in Mountain Maple.

Striped Maple can be easily told from the abundant Red Maple (A. rubrum) by the bark as well as the larger and much longer-pointed leaves.

Alleghany Co., NC 9/3/06.

Striped Maple (Acer pensylvanicum) flowers

The inflorescence is in a drooping raceme, unlike the upright panicle of Mountain Maple.

Clay Co., NC 5/12/06.

Haywood Co., NC 5/9/08.

Haywood Co., NC 5/9/08.

Haywood Co., NC 5/9/08.

Haywood Co., NC 5/10/08.

Striped Maple (Acer pensylvanicum) samaras

Like other maples, the fruits are in paired samaras (keys).

Alleghany Co., NC 9/3/06.

Striped Maple (Acer pensylvanicum) bark

The bark on young trees is smooth and green, with vertical white stripes.

Alleghany Co., NC 9/3/06.

Striped Maple (Acer pensylvanicum) bark

Bark of a mature tree.

Alleghany Co., NC 9/3/06.

More information:
Bioimages
USFS Silvics Manual
University of Connecticut
Virginia Tech Dendrology

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Revised 5/14/08 cwcook@duke.edu

All photographs and text ©2008 by Will Cook