Norway Maple
(Acer platanoides)
Simple
Lobed
Opposite

leaves

winter twig
Winter twig

flowers

tree

fruits
Fruits

bark
Bark

distribution map

The leaves are opposite, 5-15 cm long and almost as broad, with 5-7 lobes each with 2-3 long, narrow teeth. They are bright, shining-green on both surfaces and hairless except in the angles of the veins below, and have leaf-stalks, often reddish, 5-20 cm long.

ID check

Norway Maple is a  large, deciduous tree up to 30 m, more slender than Sycamore, with a straight trunk and grey bark with many small fissures. An introduction grown mainly for ornament, especially for its autumn colours, but widely naturalised.

Erect clusters of 5-petalled flowers appear before the leaves in April and May - 3 weeks before Sycamore.

The clusters may include 3 kinds of flowers: hermaphrodite with fertile male and female parts; fertile males with poorly developed stigmas; and fertile females with poorly developed anthers.

The two winged fruits or 'samaras', each 3.5-5 cm long, make an obtuse angle where they join.

Facts

  • The yellowish-white timber is very hard and is used for joinery, furniture-making and wood-turning.

  • The flowers are a useful source of food for early-flying bees.

  • Native in most of Europe except the extreme north and west: introduced into Britain in the 17th century.

Return to Index Page