Carolina Nature

Trees, Shrubs, and Woody Vines of North Carolina

Carolina Red Maple (Acer rubrum var. trilobum)

Plantae>Magnoliophyta>Magnoliopsida>Sapindales>Aceraceae>Acer rubrum L. var. trilobum Torr. & Gray ex K. Koch

Carolina Red Maple (Acer rubrum var. trilobum)

Carolina Red Maple is a common tree of wet habitats in the Coastal Plain and Piedmont of North Carolina. It differs from var. rubrum, which is more common in uplands, in having smaller leaves that usually have 3 instead of 5 lobes and are more rounded at the base.

Durham Co., NC 10/16/2008.

Carolina Red Maple (Acer rubrum var. trilobum)

The leaf undersides are glaucous (whitened).

Durham Co., NC 10/16/2008.

Carolina Red Maple (Acer rubrum var. trilobum)

Nearly hairless leaf underside. Carolina Red Maple is very similar to Drummond's Red Maple (Acer rubrum var. drummondii), which has hairy leaf undersides and larger samaras.

Durham Co., NC 10/16/2008.

Carolina Red Maple (Acer rubrum var. trilobum)

Orange Co., NC 4/20/03.

Carolina Red Maple (Acer rubrum var. trilobum)

The samaras are a brilliant red when they're young, later turning tan.

Scotland Co., NC 4/20/05.

Carolina Red Maple (Acer rubrum var. trilobum)

Staminate (male) flowers. The flowers have a delicate sweet fragrance.

Moore Co., NC 3/14/07.

Carolina Red Maple (Acer rubrum var. trilobum)

Detail of staminate flowers.

Moore Co., NC 3/14/07.

Carolina Red Maple (Acer rubrum var. trilobum)

Bark of a medium-sized tree.

Orange Co., NC 4/20/03.

Carolina Red Maple (Acer rubrum var. trilobum)

Bark of a small tree.

Durham Co., NC 10/16/2008.

Carolina Red Maple (Acer rubrum var. trilobum) bark

Bark of a large tree.

Durham Co., NC 10/16/2008.

More information:
NC State Fact Sheet
Trees of Alabama and the Southeast
Silvics Manual
Virginia Tech Dendrology

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