With Spring only weeks away, red maple
buds are poised to burst into flower.
If you’ve never had a
chance to greet these early bloomers at eye level, prepare for a welcome blast
of winter-busting color. Red maple flowers are spectacular, and they come
by the bazillion.
Some trees have male
flowers, some have female flowers, and some have both. These are male flowers,
with pollen-tipped stamens extending out beyond the small petals.
These are the female
flowers that with develop into winged seeds.
Chances are, if you’re
reading this in the eastern U.S., there’s a red maple near you. This tree has
an impressive range—you’ll find it growing from Newfoundland to Florida, from
the east coast to Minnesota and Texas.
And when you’re ready for
a second dose of scarlet at summer’s end, look for the red maples to put on an
Photos and text by Allison W. Bell,
Co-Author of AMC's Field Guide to New England Alpine Summits and AMC Nature Notes guest blogger.