Drummond red maple
Acer rubrum L. var. drummondii (Hook. & Arn. ex Nutt.) Sarg.
  • ALTERNATE COMMON NAME: swamp red maple
  • LEAVES: opposite, simple, deciduous; blades 3-6” long and wide, palmately 3-5 lobed with V-shaped sinuses; whitish and tomentose below; petiole red
  • FLOWER: functionally unisexual, plants usually dioecious; flowers varying from deep red to pinkinsh; pistillate flowers on drooping racemes, staminate flowers in axillary fascicles; flowering well before leaf-out, December through February
  • FRUIT: ded to pinkish double samara, maturing in early spring
  • TWIGS: reddish buds, terminal blunt, globose lateral flower buds; flower buds swell almost as soon as leaves drop in the fall
  • BARK: light to dark gray, smooth when young, long scaly plates when older
  • FORM: medium sized tree
  • HABITAT: bottomland hardwood forests, cypress-tupelo swamps
  • WETLAND DESIGNATION: Acer rubrum is classified as Facultative (FAC). The current national list of plants that occur in wetlands does not provide wetland indicator status ratings for subspecific taxa.
  • RANGE: southeastern US [USDA Range MAP]  [USGS Range Map]
  • USES: considered a soft maple (referring to softer wood than hard maple, represented by Acer saccharum), moderate quality hardwood when large, used for baskets, veneer, pulp, pallets, musical instruments, specialty wood items
  • WILDLIFE: stump sprouts usually heavily browsed by deer and small mammals; seeds eaten by song and game birds; important squirrel food; provides nectar/pollen resources for pollinators very early in the season
  • Best Recognition Features:
    1. opposite simple, palmately 3-5 lobed leaves
    2. leaves tomentose beneath
    3. red flowers and particularly showy red (sometimes pink-salmon); double samaras maturing before leaf-out
    4. on very wet sites