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Mountain maple is a small, understory shrubby tree, 10-25 ft. tall, with multiple trunks and a mushroom-shaped habit. Hardy and adapted to full sun or partial shade, it hosts 297 species of Lepidoptera larvae, including the beggar and the rosy maple moths pictured here. Its bark is maroon-purple to reddish-brown and its dark, yellowish-green foliage consistently turns mottled-orange to bright-red in the fall. The Latin species name, meaning "spiked," refers to the long spike-like flower clusters that appear June-July, followed by pairs of winged seeds (samara), that range from pink to bright red and mature September into October. Rabbits, beavers and deer browse the bark, and ruffed grouse eat the buds. Helpful at preventing erosion on streambanks and steep slopes. It prefers cooler north and east facing slopes in the understory of larger trees.


Note how closely the rosy maple moth's colors match the pink- tinged samaras. 

Maple, Mountain, Acer spicatum

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  • We happily purchase or trade other plant material for locally gathered native seeds. Please provide pictures of the mature plant if possible, ideally fruiting or flowering for best ID

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