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Acer rubrum var. drummondii (Drummond's maple)
Wasowski, Sally and Andy

Acer rubrum var. drummondii

Acer rubrum L. var. drummondii (Hook. & Arn. ex Nutt.) Sarg.

Drummond's Maple, Drummond Red Maple, Swamp Maple

Aceraceae (Maple Family)

Synonym(s): Acer drummondii, Acer rubrum ssp. drummondii, Rufacer drummondii


USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

Acer rubrum var. drummondii displays the general characteristics of its species, but has 3- to 5-lobed leaves that are hairy over their entire lower surface. It tends to prefer moist, swampy sites and isn't as cold-hardy as the other A. rubrum varieties, native no farther north than southern Illinois and southern New Jersey. It grows as far west as southeast Texas.

The variety name of this species is named for Thomas Drummond (ca. 1790-1835), naturalist, born in Scotland, around 1790. In 1830 he made a trip to America to collect specimens from the western and southern United States. In March, 1833, he arrived at Velasco, Texas to begin his collecting work in that area. He spent twenty-one months working the area between Galveston Island and the Edwards Plateau, especially along the Brazos, Colorado, and Guadalupe rivers. His collections were the first made in Texas that were extensively distributed among the museums and scientific institutions of the world. He collected 750 species of plants and 150 specimens of birds. Drummond had hoped to make a complete botanical survey of Texas, but he died in Havana, Cuba, in 1835, while making a collecting tour of that island.


From the Image Gallery

12 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Tree
Root Type: Fibrous
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Leaf Arrangement: Opposite
Leaf Complexity: Palmate
Leaf Venation: Palmate
Leaf Pubescence: Hirsute
Leaf Margin: Serrate
Breeding System: Flowers Unisexual , Dioecious
Fruit Type: Samara
Size Notes: Up to about 80 feet tall.
Leaf: Green, turning red or yellow in fall
Autumn Foliage: yes
Fruit: Red

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Red
Bloom Time: Feb , Mar , Apr


USA: AL , AR , DE , FL , GA , IL , IN , KY , LA , MO , MS , NC , NJ , SC , TN , TX , VA
Native Distribution: Southeast Texas north to southern Illinois and east to southern New Jersey and Florida
Native Habitat: Moist, open woodlands and swamps

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist , Wet
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
Drought Tolerance: Low
Heat Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Moist to wet, acidic sands, sandy loams, medium loams, clay loams, and clays
Conditions Comments: Occurs naturally in moist woods and swamps


Use Ornamental: Showy, attractive shade tree with conspicuous fall color and decorative, red male flowers and female samaras in spring
Use Wildlife: Seeds consumed by a variety of birds and squirrels, leaves eaten by deer. Entire plant relied on by a number of moths and other insects.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Interesting Foliage: yes
Attracts: Birds
Larval Host: A number of sphinx moths
Deer Resistant: No


Propagation Material: Seeds

From the National Organizations Directory

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

Crosby Arboretum - Picayune, MS
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department - Austin, TX
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE
Wellspring Organic Farm and Education Center - West Bend, WI


Bibref 481 - How to Grow Native Plants of Texas and the Southwest: Revised and Updated Edition (2001) Nokes, J.
Bibref 293 - Manual of the Vascular Plants of Texas (1979) Correll, D. S. & M. C. Johnston
Bibref 318 - Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region (2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski
Bibref 281 - Shinners & Mahler's Illustrated Flora of North Central Texas (1999) Diggs, G. M.; B. L. Lipscomb; B. O'Kennon; W. F...
Bibref 291 - Texas Wildscapes: Gardening for Wildlife (1999) Damude, N. & K.C. Bender

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Additional resources

USDA: Find Acer rubrum var. drummondii in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Acer rubrum var. drummondii in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Acer rubrum var. drummondii


Record Modified: 2012-11-13
Research By: TWC Staff, GDG

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