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Acer nigrum (Black maple)
Makin, Julie

Acer nigrum

Acer nigrum Michx. f.

Black Maple

Aceraceae (Maple Family)

Synonym(s): Acer nigrum var. palmeri, Acer saccharum ssp. nigrum, Acer saccharum var. nigrum, Acer saccharum var. viride, Saccharodendron nigrum

USDA Symbol: ACNI5

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

A tall tree with a straight central trunk in the forest and a widely spreading branch system in the open. Very similar in all characteristics to sugar maple. Yellow to orange-red fall foliage.


From the Image Gallery

15 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Tree
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Leaf Arrangement: Opposite
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Venation: Palmate
Leaf Pubescence: Tomentose
Leaf Margin: Lobed
Fruit Type: Samara
Size Notes: Up to about 100 feet tall.
Leaf: Green
Autumn Foliage: yes
Flower: Flowers small
Fruit: Green, brown, two-winged horseshoe-shaped samaras about 1 in long, appearing in clusters.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow , Green
Bloom Time: Apr , May
Bloom Notes: Flowers appear with the leaves.


USA: AL , AR , CT , DC , DE , GA , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , MA , MD , MI , MN , MO , NC , NH , NJ , NY , OH , PA , SD , TN , VA , VT , WI , WV
Canada: NS , ON , QC
Native Distribution: NH to s. Ont., MI & s.e. MN, s. to n.e. NJ, PA, MO & extreme n. AR; also NC & TN mts.
Native Habitat: Bottomlands; drier, calcareous sites; woods

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium
Soil Description: Dry to moist, often calcareous soils.


Description: Propagation is possible by seed. Not considered easy to root from cuttings.
Seed Collection: The winged fruit of maples is called a samara. Seed is usually not extracted from the samara.
Seed Treatment: Cold stratify in a moist sand or peat/perlite mixture for 60-90 days.
Commercially Avail: yes

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Natural Biodiversity - Johnstown, PA
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE

Web Reference

Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

USDA: Find Acer nigrum in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Acer nigrum in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Acer nigrum


Record Modified: 2023-04-26
Research By: TWC Staff

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