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Maples - Maples Of North America, Lumber From Maples, Maple Syrup

species leaves arranged autumn

The maples are about 150 species of angiosperm trees and shrubs in the genus Acer, family Aceraceae. Most maples occur in temperate forests of the Northern Hemisphere.

Maples are characterized by the shape of their leaves, which in most species are broadly palmate with a three- or five-lobed outline, and are arranged in an opposite fashion on their branches. Maples have seasonally deciduous foliage, which is shed in the autumn. The leaves of many species of maples develop beautiful yellow, orange, or red colors in the autumn, prior to shedding for the winter. Maple flowers appear early in the springtime, and consist of non-showy, rather inconspicuous inflorescences. The flowers of some species produce nectar and are insect-pollinated, while other species shed their pollen into the air and are wind-pollinated. Maples have distinctive, winged seeds known as samaras, which are arranged in opposite pairs.


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