Thursday, January 19, 2012

Aceraceae Twigs

Aceraceae Twigs in a bow
Rebecca Priddy
January 19.2012

This family of trees, the Aceraceae Family.  Is also known as the Maple family.   There are some 120 species of trees in this family.  I have been getting to know 6 of these species.  These 6 species live in the Southern Appalachian mountains, same as me.  So, I wanted to get to know them in all the seasons.

The 6 species that I have been spending time with are

Acer negundo - Box Elder
Acer pensylvanicum - Striped Maple
Acer rubrum - Red Maple
Acer saccharinum - Silver Maple
Acer saccharum - Sugar Maple
Acer spicatum - Mountain Maple

Characteristics of this Family
This family of trees derives its name from a Latin word meaning sharp.  Sharp is a good way to describe the points on Maple leaves.  

Maples have opposite leave arrangement.  
"Mad horses buck" is a way to remember which trees have opposite leaf arrangement.  
M for Maple
A for Ash
D for Dogwood
Horse for HorseChestnut
Buck for Buckeye.
(Opposite leaf arrangement means that the leaves grow opposite each other on the twigs.)

Maples have fruit called samaras.
Samaras can travel some distance with the wind when they come off of the tree.

On the light side, thinking of Aceraceae as a family then, they are a family of travelers with sharp edges.  This sounds like alot of human families in this world.


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