Common Shrub Species of the Northwest Forest






Terminology | Pictorial

Acer spicatum
Mountain Maple
White Maple

Aceraceae (Maple Family)


General - : A tall and spreading shrub, 3 - 8 m tall; bark thin, dull, reddish to greyish brown, smooth or slightly grooved; twigs slender, yellowish green to reddish brown, coated with very short grey hairs; buds slender, stalked, covered with grey hairs.

Mountain Maple Leaves - Opposite, simple, 6 - 8 cm wide, 3-lobed, end lobe triangular; coarsely and irregularly single-toothed; yellowish green above, with soft, whitish hairs below; stalk slender, reddish, usually longer than blade.

Flowers - In dense upright clusters at branchlet tips; sexes in separate flowers usually in same flower cluster; flowers are small, pale yellowish green; appear after leaves in late May to early June.

Fruit - Samaras, often brilliant red; wings 2 -3 cm long, with acute angle (less than 90 degrees) between them; seed portion indented on 1 side; mature in late summer.


Well-drained, moist soils along streams, in ravines and on moist hillsides in eastern forests; common on recently cut-over forest land; from lake country of Manitoba to eastern Saskatchewan and NW Ontario.


Other species with maple-like leaves.are encountered in NW Ontario. The Thimbleberry and Gooseberries have alternate leaf arrangements, while the leaves of the Squashberry are 3-lobed and often of 2 shapes. The flowers and fruits of all of these species are distinctly different from those of the Mountain Maple.

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