Acer nigrum

Acer nigrum, the black maple, is a species of maple closely related to A. saccharum (sugar maple), and treated by some authors as a subspecies of it, as Acer saccharum subsp. nigrum.[2][3]

Black maple
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Sapindales
Family: Sapindaceae
Genus: Acer
Section: Acer sect. Acer
Series: Acer ser. Saccharodendron
A. nigrum
Binomial name
Acer nigrum
Acer nigrum natural range

Acer saccharum subsp. nigrum

Identification can be confusing due to the tendency of the two species to form hybrids. The simplest and most accurate method for distinguishing between the two trees is the generally three-lobed leaves of the black maple versus the generally five-lobed leaves of the sugar maple. The leaves of the black maple also tend to have a drooping appearance. Other differences that are not as pronounced include darker, more deeply grooved bark, slightly smaller seeds, a downy underside, and thicker petioles. Hybrids are intermediate in their characteristics.


The geographic range of A. nigrum is slightly more limited than the sugar maple, encompassing much of the Midwestern United States, portions of the Eastern United States, and the southeast of Canada in southern Ontario.[4]


Illustration from 1913's Illustrated flora of the northern states and Canada

The black maple's mature height ranges from 21 to 34 meters (70 to 110 feet).[5]


This species is used similarly to the A. saccharum, for timber as hard maple, for landscaping, and for maple syrup production.

See also

  • List of foods made from maple


  1. Barstow, M.; Crowley, D. (2017). "Acer nigrum". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2017: e.T61961045A61961056. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2017-3.RLTS.T61961045A61961056.en. Retrieved 13 November 2021.
  2. USDA, NRCS (n.d.). "Acer nigrum". The PLANTS Database ( Greensboro, North Carolina: National Plant Data Team.
  3. "Acer saccharum subsp. nigrum". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved 2017-12-20.
  4. "Acer nigrum Range Map" (PDF). United States Geological Survey. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-05-09. Retrieved 2008-03-06.
  5. "USDA Forest Service Guide to Black Maple". USDA Forest Service. Retrieved 2014-08-24.
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