An online resource based on the award-winning nature guide

Striped Maples Flowering

6-2-17 striped maple flowers 027Striped Maple (Acer pensylvanicum), named after the vertical white streaks on its bark,  is often associated with Moose and White-tailed Deer, both of which feed on its bark. In some places it goes by the name “Moosewood” for this very reason. The shape of its leaves give it another common name, “Goosefoot Maple.” In the spring when Striped Maples are nearly in full leaf, bright yellow bell-shaped flowers appear on long, pendulous strings, or racemes. (The flower stalks of the similar Mountain Maple also materialize after the leaves have matured, but these flower clusters are upright, held above the surrounding leaves.)

Striped Maples have the unusual ability to change sexes repeatedly over their lifetime (as does Jack-in-the-Pulpit), a phenomenon called gender diphasy. Among five study populations located in New Jersey, approximately one in four trees exhibited a change in the sex of its flowers between flowering seasons. The flowers of most Striped Maples are predominantly male. If changes occur in the canopy and new conditions seem favorable, a predominantly male tree can become predominantly female (and vice versa, if conditions deteriorate). Size, injury, and carbohydrate reserves are thought to impact the frequency and direction of gender change. Another unusual trait of Striped Maples is that the final sex of a flower is determined within one month of flowering, in contrast to most woody perennials which set buds the previous year.

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4 responses

  1. Cheron barton

    💕💕

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    June 2, 2017 at 12:04 pm

  2. Elizabeth Kilmarx

    Which begs the question – Which bathroom would a striped maple be allowed to enter in North Carolina?

    June 2, 2017 at 12:24 pm

    • Alice Pratt

      “Pee where you are rooted?”

      June 2, 2017 at 3:18 pm

  3. Alice Pratt

    Not familiar with this tree or all the other interesting “shenanigans” going on. Amazing! I absolutely ❤❤❤ Jack-in-the-Pulpits…recently pointed a few out to my young grand daughter.

    June 2, 2017 at 3:20 pm

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