Sunday, April 10, 2011

Invasive: Acer Platanoides (Norway Maple)

Today was a rare day off for me, so I took to Fairmount Park here in Philadelphia to look at the flowers of spring. One of the first I encountered was Acer Platanoides.

The Norway Maple is an invasive species. It is (still) used heavily in cultivation as a shade tree. The problem is that the seeds are viable and each tree produces a vast amount of them. So a tree planted in an area can quickly populate the space with seedlings.

But they are fast growing maples and provide beautiful foliage and shade so they are used a lot in urban and suburban yards.

They bloom later than the native red maple and also have a much more distinctive flower:

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