Overview

Brief Summary

Flowering and Fruiting- Florida maple is  polygamo-dioecious. Flowers are small and are borne on long,  puberulent pedicels in yellowish-green corymbs (12). They  appear as small clusters at the ends of branches and mature in  the early spring, before or with the leaves (3,13), usually  in late March and April, about 2 weeks before sugar maple in the  same vicinity.

    The fruit is a winged, green to reddish, double samara, smaller  than that of sugar maple, and matures in early summer. There are  no seed test records for Florida maple on file at the National  Tree Seed Laboratory at Macon, GA (5).

    Seed Production and Dissemination- Florida maple has not  been managed as a commercial timber species and no published  reports of seed production, dissemination, or experience in  forest or nursery regeneration are available. The method of  propagating Florida maple from seed is similar to that for sugar  maple (12). Germination is epigeal (10). Reproduction  of Florida maple has been described as erratic and scattered,  occurring singly and in small groups (9).

    Seedling Development- No information available.

    Vegetative Reproduction- No information available.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Distribution

The range of Florida maple (fig. 1) is discontinuous in  the Piedmont and Coastal Plain from southeastern Virginia  southwest across North and South Carolina and Georgia, into the  Florida Panhandle. The range continues west across Alabama,  Mississippi, Louisiana, into eastern Texas, and north across  Arkansas into eastern Oklahoma. The species is also found in  isolated spots halfway down the Gulf Coast of the Florida  peninsula and at one location in central Oklahoma (8).

   
  -The native range of Florida maple.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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National Distribution

United States

Origin: Unknown/Undetermined

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Acer saccharum subsp. floridanum (Chapm.) Desmarais:
United States (North America)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Saccharodendron floridanum (Chapm.) Nieuwl.:
United States (North America)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Saccharodendron barbatum (Michx.) Nieuwl.:
Canada (North America)
United States (North America)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Acer barbatum var. longii (Fernald) Fernald:
United States (North America)

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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Acer barbatum Michx.:
United States (North America)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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Physical Description

Type Information

Isotype for Acer floridanum var. longii Fernald
Catalog Number: US 1971506
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): M. L. Fernald, B. H. Long & E. C. Abbe
Year Collected: 1942
Locality: James River, Grove Landing, NE of Grove., James City, Virginia, United States, North America
  • Isotype: Fernald, M. L. 1942. Rhodora. 44: 426.
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Ecology

Habitat

Soils and Topography

Florida maple grows on fertile, moist but  well-welldraineddrained soils on stream terraces, in coves, and  on adjacent bluffs and ridgetops. It usually grows best on soils  underlain by calcareous material such as limestone or marl. It  also grows well on the Florida hammocks. Soils commonly are found  in the orders Inceptisols, Entisols, and Ultisols.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Climate

Across the range of Florida maple, average annual rainfall varies  from about 1120 to 1630 mm (44 to 64 in). Precipitation is well  distributed, with the driest months averaging no less than 50 mm  (2 in). January normal daily temperatures across the species  range vary from 11° to 18° C (52° to 64° F)  maximum, and from -2° to 7° C (28° to 45°  F) minimum. July normal highs are 29° to 33° C (84°  to 91° F), and lows are 21° to 24° C (70° to  75° F). The average frost-free season is  approximately 20° to 27° days (11).

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Associations

Associated Forest Cover

Florida maple has not been included as an associate in any  of the published descriptions of forest cover types. It is often  ranked as a major component of the understory stand, however (1).  Associated overstory species include sweetgum (Liquidambar  styraciflua), willow oak ( Quercus phellos), cherrybark  oak (Q. falcata var. pagodifolia), winged elm  (Ulmus alata), red maple (Acer rubrum), yellow-poplar  (Liriodendron tulipifera), ash (Fraxinus spp.),  water oak (Quercus nigra), and sugarberry (Celtis  laevigata).

    Understory associates include American elm (Ulmus americana),  dogwood (Cornus florida), possumhaw (hex  decidua), winged elm, American hornbeam (Carpinus  caroliniana), eastern redcedar (Juniperus virginiana),  red mulberry (Morus rubra), northern red oak (Quercus  rubra), pignut hickory (Carya glabra), and white ash  (Fraxinus americana).

    In Florida, associates are basswood (Tilia caroliniana), sweetgum,  cabbage palmetto (Sabal palmetto), water oak, willow oak,  southern red oak (Quercus falcata var. falcata), and  loblolly pine (Pinus taeda). Spruce pine (P glabra)  is an associate in Alabama (6).

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Diseases and Parasites

Damaging Agents

Florida maple suffers no special damage  problems (9), and perhaps it can be assumed that generally the  same insects and diseases that attack sugar maple also attack  Florida maple, because the two species are so similar (10).

    Special Uses

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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General Ecology

Reaction to Competition

Florida maple is tolerant of  shade (9). There are no reports of how Florida maple responds to  release or other silvicultural treatments.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Rooting Habit

No information available.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Life History and Behavior

Reproduction

Vegetative Reproduction

- No information available.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Seedling Development

No information available.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Seed Production and Dissemination

Florida maple has not  been managed as a commercial timber species and no published  reports of seed production, dissemination, or experience in  forest or nursery regeneration are available. The method of  propagating Florida maple from seed is similar to that for sugar  maple (12). Germination is epigeal (10). Reproduction  of Florida maple has been described as erratic and scattered,  occurring singly and in small groups (9).

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Flowering and Fruiting

Florida maple is  polygamo-dioecious. Flowers are small and are borne on long,  puberulent pedicels in yellowish-green corymbs (12). They  appear as small clusters at the ends of branches and mature in  the early spring, before or with the leaves (3,13), usually  in late March and April, about 2 weeks before sugar maple in the  same vicinity.

    The fruit is a winged, green to reddish, double samara, smaller  than that of sugar maple, and matures in early summer. There are  no seed test records for Florida maple on file at the National  Tree Seed Laboratory at Macon, GA (5).

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Growth

Growth and Yield

- Because Florida maple (fig. 2) is  primarily an understory tree, it is usually smaller and more  spreading than sugar maple. A bottomland forest near Durham, NC,  contained 23.5 percent Florida maple stems in the understory and  1.4 percent in the overstory (1). Recent inventories by  the Southeastern Forest Experiment Station (2) show that  in the five southeastern States, Virginia, North Carolina, South  Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, 91 percent of the Florida maple  trees on commercial forest land are smaller than 13 cm (5 in) in  d.b.h., and only 1 percent are 28 cm (11 in) in d.b.h. and  larger. Total inventory of commercial Florida maple trees 13 cm  (5 in) d.b.h. and larger in the 5-State area is 1,702,000 m³  (60,134,000 ft³) and of this volume 60 percent is in Georgia  and Florida. Florida maple has a "medium" growth rate,  meaning that dominant and codominant trees on better sites  average 5 to 8 cm (2 to 3 in) of diameter growth over a 10-year  period (9). A composite of reports indicates that a mature  Florida maple in the overstory may average 61 cm (24 in) in  d.b.h. and 12.2 to 18.3 m (40 to 60 ft) in total height.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Genetics

There has been considerable confusion in the classification of  Florida maple as a species distinct from sugar maple, and in the  field, Florida maple is probably often confused with other maples  (9).

    Florida maple has been variously recognized among authorities as  southern sugar maple (Acer floridanum) and as a sugar  maple variety (Acer saccharum var. floridanum). However;  the distinction between (northern) sugar maple and Florida maple  is based on the latter's smaller leaves with short, acute lobes,  smaller samaras, andnd a more whitish bark (12). Numerous  intergrades between the two species have been found in east Texas  and in the zone from Maryland south to northern Florida (although  Maryland is not included in the range of A. barbatum). It  appears that genes of both taxa are present in this intermediate  population from Mary land to Florida and limited gene exchange is  still occurring where one or the other taxon comes in contact  with the intermediates (7).

    The literature contains no specific information about Florida  maple hybrids, but in view of its close association with sugar  maple, and the intergrades between the two species already  mentioned, it is not unlikely that hybridization between the two  species may occur.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G4 - Apparently Secure

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Wikipedia

Acer floridanum

Acer floridanum (syn. Acer saccharum subsp. floridanum (Chapm.) Desmarais, Acer barbatum auct. non Michx.), commonly known as the Florida maple and occasionally as the southern sugar maple or hammock maple, is a tree that occurs in mesic and usually calcareous woodlands of the Atlantic and Gulf coastal plain in the United States, from southeastern Virginia in the north, south to central Florida, and west to Oklahoma and Texas.[2][3][4]

Description[edit]

It is a medium-sized to large deciduous tree, growing to 15–25 m (exceptionally to 38 m) tall, with an elliptical crown of moderate density with a smooth or rounded outline. The bark is a light gray with thick irregular curling ridges; as the tree matures, the bark tends to become plated. The twigs are slender, somewhat shiny, reddish brown. The terminal buds are sharply pointed, brown and pubescent. The leaves are opposite, simple, palmately lobed and veined, 3–9.5 cm long and 3.5–11 cm broad, with an entire margin and three or five somewhat rounded lobes, and a 2–8 cm long petiole. They are green above and paler and pubescent below. In fall they turn orange and yellow. The flowers are regular, pentamerous, and appear on yellow-green corymbs and are quite small. They hang from puberulent pedicels 2.4–5 cm long in clusters of a few flowers, appearing before or with the leaves in early spring. This is about two weeks prior to the maturation of the flowers of Acer saccharum. The tree is generally diecious, though they are often also polygamous, that is having bisexual and unisexual flowers on the same individual. The fruit is a paired samara 1.5–3 cm long.[4][5]

Acer floridanum can easily be confused in the field with the closely related Acer leucoderme and Acer saccharum. It can be best distinguished from A. saccharum by noting the smaller leaves with short and acute lobes, the smaller samaras, and the more whitish bark. Several overlaps in genetics between these two species have been found in east Texas and in the zone from Maryland south to northern Florida, despite the fact that Maryland is listed as beyond the natural range of the tree. In light of this information, it can be assumed that the two hybridize.[4] From A. leucoderme, it is best told by the white hairs on the undersides of the leaves, yellow-haired in A. leucoderme.[6]

Taxonomy[edit]

Debate still exists about its taxonomic status, which has been controversial for at least 100 years.[2]

The Florida Maple was first recognised as distinct in 1860 by Alvan Wentworth Chapman, who treated it as a variety of A. saccharum. In 1886 Ferdinand Albin Pax decided it was distinct enough to be treated as a separate species, making the new combination A. floridanum (Chapm.) Pax.[2] In 1952, Yves Desmarais took an intermediate option, treating it as a subspecies Acer saccharum subsp. floridanum (Chapm.) Desmarais, a treatment which has fairly wide recent recognition.[3][7][8]

A further problem exists with the specific name Acer barbatum, given to a maple by André Michaux in 1803 from samples collected in the Carolinas during his decade in North America from 1785 to 1796. For a long time it was unclear if the plant he collected was Acer saccharum (Sugar Maple) or A. floridanum, as his samples were badly damaged on his return to Paris. M. L. Fernald reexamined the species in the mid-1940s for the 8th edition of Gray's Manual, published in 1950; on reviewing Michaux's notes on A. barbatum, he decided to apply this name to the Florida Maple in 1945, based on his interpretation that Michaux's samples, which he only knew through notes (Michaux's collections were in Paris, inaccessible as World War II had not yet ended), corresponded more closely to Florida Maple than to Sugar Maple. Since the oldest given name takes precedence, he used the name A. barbatum for the Florida Maple. Many subsequent authors accepted this judgement, such as the United States Forest Service,[4][9] and Wilbur H. Duncan and Marion Duncan's Trees of the Southeastern United States, published in 1988. However, recent examination by D. B. Ward has shown that they are typical Acer saccharum after all, and not A. floridanum as Fernald had thought without examination, and thus Michaux's name is correctly a synonym of A. saccharum.[2][3]

Distribution and ecology[edit]

The distribution is discontinuous in the Piedmont and Atlantic Coastal Plain from southeastern Virginia southwest across North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, as well as into the Florida Panhandle. The range goes farther west across Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, into eastern Texas, and north through Arkansas and into eastern Oklahoma. The species also occurs in several isolated locations roughly halfway down the Gulf Coast of the Florida peninsula, and also in at least one location in central Oklahoma. The species is also found in isolated locations of Illinois, Montana, Tennessee and Kentucky.[4][9]

The average annual rainfall within the native area ranges from 112 to 163 cm (44 to 64 in). The driest months average no less than 50 mm (2 in). The normal temperatures in January within the range vary from 11° to 18°C (52° to 64°F) maximum, and from -2° to 7°C (28° to 45°F) minimum, whereas in July normal maxima are 29° to 33°C (84° to 91°F), and minima are 21° to 24°C (70° to 75°F). The tree favours moist, but well-drained fertile soils, especially on stream terrace, in coves, and on adjacent bluffs and ridgetops. It grows best on soils containing calcareous material such as limestone or marl. It also grows well on the densely forested hammocks of Florida, hence its alternative common name hammock maple. It is most often confined to the understory.[4]

Cultivation and uses[edit]

While not an overwhelmingly popular tree in cultivation, it is sometimes employed in the Southern United States as a shade tree due to its round crown and its greater resistance to heat than that of its more showy relative the sugar maple. Several species of birds and especially squirrels make use of the tree as a nesting site and also consume its seeds as a food source.[4]

Despite the fact that of itself Florida Maple is not employed as a commercial timber species, it is used with associated commercial species when the products are pulpwood, sawtimber, or wood veneer stock. It is considered a hard maple and as high quality individuals are suitable for producing furniture, flooring, paneling, and shoe lasts. However, its relative scarcity, small size, and fairly poor shape generally confine its use to only factory and box lumber, and even this is only an occasional occurrence. It has, however, been experiencing growing popularity as an ornamental or shade tree, especially in the southern United States due to its high heat resistance. It is also a source of maple syrup, though again its size and rarity limit its use in this regard, especially in light of the Sugar Maple's established popularity within the business.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ NatureServe Explorer: Acer barbatum in NatureServe An online encyclopedia of life, Version 6.1. (2006). Arlington, Virginia.
  2. ^ a b c d Ward, D. B. (2004). Acer floridanum: The Correct Scientific Name of the Florida Maple. Castanea 69 (3): 230-233.
  3. ^ a b c Germplasm Resources Information Network: Acer saccharum subsp. floridanum
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h U.S. Forest Service Silvics Manual: Acer barbatum
  5. ^ Common Trees of the North Carolina Piedmont: Acer barbatum
  6. ^ Carolina Nature: Southern Sugar Maple (Acer floridanum)
  7. ^ Desmarais, Y. (1952). Dynamics of Leaf Variation in the Sugar Maples. Brittonia 7 (5): 347-387. Abstract
  8. ^ van Gelderen, C. J. & van Gelderen, D. M. (1999). Maples for Gardens: A Color Encyclopedia.
  9. ^ a b USDA Plants Profile: Acer barbatum
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