vine maple Aceraceae Acer
circinatum Pursh symbol: ACCI
Leaf: Opposite, simple, deciduous; palmately lobed and veined with 7 to 9 shallow, fan-like lobes (usually 7); outline circular, 2 to 4 inches in diameter, but can be larger in shade; green above and paler green below.
Flower: Species is monoecious; flowers small, red, and borne in short terminal clusters.
Fruit: Double samaras with wings at 180 degrees to one another, each samara 1 to 2 inches long, often bright red when mature.
Twig: Slender, smooth, and round; green to reddish brown but often red in the sun; buds small (1/8 inch) and opposite, terminal buds paired and dichotomous.
Bark: Thin, smooth, and greenish, regardless of age, often covered with mosses and lichens.
Form: An erect shrub reaching 20 to 40 feet tall (occasionally larger); multiple stems sprouting from base, and crooked branches in a helter-skelter arrangement. When old and undisturbed they often form graceful arches from branch layering.
Looks like: Rocky Mountain maple - bigleaf maple - Japanese maple
Additional Range Information: Acer circinatum is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. See states reporting vine maple.
More Information: Fall Color
External Links: USDAFS Additional Silvics - USDA Plants Database
All material © 2017 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson