Acer platanoides L.- Norway Maple.

Taxonomic position.

Family Aceraceae, genus Acer L.

Morphology and biology.

Tree up to 20-30 m tall, with column-like trunk covered with finely fissured bark and dense rounded crown. Shoots brownish, on lighted side red-brown, glossy, with light strokes and lenticels. Shoots bear opposite adpressed buds covered with 4-6 scales. Terminal reddish bud larger and usually surrounded with 2 lateral ones. Leaf scar with bundle scars. Leaves 5-5-palmately-lobed, cordate at base. Lobes sharpened at ends, dentate, separated by broad incisions. Leaves arranged decussate-oppositely, on long petioles exuding whitish latex when cut. Leaves 5-20 cm in size, petioles 4-15 cm long. Leaf surface glabrous, glossy, sometimes hair bundles are distinct in vein angles. Flower consists of greenish 5-divided calyx and yellow 5-petaled corolla, 8(5-10) stamens, pistil with winged ovary, style and 2 curved stigmas. There are pistillate (with rudimentary stamens) and staminate (with rudimentary pistil) flowers. Massive fall of staminate flowers is observed after flowering. Fruits fractional samaras with wings diverging at obtuse angle. Seeds flat. Flowers in May, fruits in late August.


European part of the former USSR. The border of natural distribution of Norway maple stretches from the northern coast of Ladoga Lake, north of Vologda, eastwards to the Urals reaching Ufa, then, without crossing the eastern Urals, turns to Uralsk, Samara, Saratov, and goes westward to Ukraine and Moldova. The species also occurs in the Caucasus. One of the main park tree species throughout European Russia.


Occurs in oak forests, coniferous broad-leaved forests. Does not form pure stands in nature. Prefers fertile grey forest loams and dusty soils with shallow ground waters. Winter-hardy. Shade-resistant, especially in early age. Wind-resistant.

Use and economic value.

Valuable wood tree. Branches are used as forage. Ornamental. Recommended as an accompanying species for shelter belts. Melliferous.


Akimov PA. 1963. Ornamental trees and shrubs. Moscow: Selkhozizdat. 263 p. (In Russian).
Grozdov BV. 1952. Dendrology. Moscow; Leningrad. 436 p. (In Russian).
Gromadin AV., Matyukhin DL. 2006. Dendrology. Moscow: Akademiya. 360 p. (In Russian).
Sokolov SI., Svjaseva OA., Kubli VA. 1980. Ranges of trees and shrubs of the USSR. V.2. Leningrad: Nauka. 144 p. (In Russian).

© N.I.Dzyubenko, E.A.Dzyubenko

© Photo by E.A.Dzyubenko

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