The word “Acer” is derived from a Latin word meaning “sharp,” referring to the characteristic points on maple leaves. It was first applied to the genus by the French botanist Joseph Pitton de Tournefort in 1700. Maples are variously classified in a family of their own, the Aceraceae, or together with the Hippocastanaceae included in the family Sapindaceae. Modern classifications, including the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group system, favor inclusion in Sapindaceae. The type species of the genus is A. pseudoplatanus (Sycamore maple).
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