Acer pensylvanicum

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Acer pensylvanicum
Moosewood leaves.jpg
Striped Maple leaves, Cranberry Wilderness, West Virginia
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Sapindales
Family: Sapindaceae
Genus: Acer
Species: A. pensylvanicum
Binomial name
Acer pensylvanicum
L. 1853
Acer pensylvanicum range map.png
Natural range

Acer pensylvanicum (striped maple, also known as moosewood and moose maple) is a small North American species of maple.


It is a small deciduous tree growing to 5–10 meters (17-33 feet) tall, with a trunk up to 20 cm (8 inches) in diameter.[2]

The young bark is striped with green and white, and when a little older, brown.[2]

The leaves are broad and soft, 8–15 cm (3.2-6.0 inches) long and 6–12 cm (2.4-4.8 inches) broad, with three shallow forward-pointing lobes.[2]

The fruit is a samara; the seeds are about 27 mm (1.08 inches) long and 11 mm (0.44 inch) broad, with a wing angle of 145° and a conspicuously veined pedicel.[3][2][4]

The spelling pensylvanicum is the one originally used by Linnaeus.


The natural range extends from Nova Scotia and the Gaspe Peninsula of Quebec, west to southern Ontario, Michigan, and Saskatchewan; south to northeastern Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, and along the Appalachian Mountains as far south as northern Georgia.[5][6]


Striped maple growing at the edge of a forest with pine and hickory in the background (Zena, New York)

Moosewood is an understory tree of cool, moist forests, often preferring slopes. It is among the most shade-tolerant of deciduous trees, capable of germinating and persisting for years as a small understory shrub, then growing rapidly to its full height when a gap opens up. However, it does not grow high enough to become a canopy tree, and once the gap above it closes through succession, it responds by flowering and fruiting profusely, and to some degree spreading by vegetative reproduction.[7][8]


  1. ^ The Plant List, Acer pensylvanicum L.
  2. ^ a b c d Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation
  3. ^ Carolina Nature
  4. ^ Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, University of Texas
  5. ^ "Striped Maple". Retrieved 8 September 2014. 
  6. ^ Biota of North America Program 2014 county distribution map
  7. ^ Hibbs, D. E; B. C. Fischer (1979). "Sexual and Vegetative Reproduction of Striped Maple (Acer pensylvanicum L.)". Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 106: 222– 227. doi:10.2307/2484558. 
  8. ^ Hibbs, D. E., Wilson, B. F., & Fischer, B. C. (1980). Habitat Requirements and Growth of Striped Maple (Acer pensylvanicum L.). Ecology 61 (3): 490-496

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