The American Maple in Acero negundo (Acer negundo L., 1753) is an arboreal species belonging to the family Aceraceae.
From a systematic point of view it belongs to the Eukaryota Domain, Kingdom Plantae, Magnoliophyta Division, Magnoliopsida Class, Sapindales Order, Aceraceae Family and therefore to the Acer Genus and to the A. negundo Species.
The term Acer derives from the Latin name dell’Acero, cited in Pliny and Ovid. This name should derive from pointed, pungent acer acris, both for the pointed shape of the leaves and for the use of maple to make lances. The specific negundo epithet derives from the Sanskrit निर्गुण्डि nirguṇḍi, which indicated a tree, Vitex negundo, with leaves similar to A. negundo.
Geographic Distribution and Habitat –
The Acer negundo is a tree native to the eastern territories of North America which was introduced in Europe in 1688. In Italy it is widespread above all in the North and the Center and is very common in the Po Valley.
The American Maple, to reach maturity a shrub or tree bearing, with height varying between 5 and 20 meters. The bark is olive green in the young specimens, subsequently it becomes a gray brown color and with vertical fissures that become deeper as the plant grows. It is a dioecious species, therefore with feminine and masculine flowers brought from different plants. It blooms between March and April before the leaves are released. The female flowers are pendulous racemes while the masculine ones are small, gathered in pendulous long-pedunculated corbi, yellow in color. The leaves are imparipinnate with three or five leaves that fall in autumn. The fruit is a disamara with wings divergent to V, with spring ripening. Acer negundo has varieties with white or yellow striped leaves and seedless varieties.
Acer negundo prefers temperate climates even if it grows well in environments characterized by harsh winters, as it supports thermal values of several degrees below zero, which are particularly hot climates. It is a species susceptible to strong winds, as well as the weight of snow due to the fragility of its wood. It grows better in sunny environments but does not suffer particularly from the shaded areas. It is a species that tolerates a wide range of soils, from limestone to acidic and even compact. It tolerates less sandy soils that are too permeable. This maple grows very quickly and often behaves like a dangerous alien species very infesting due to the dissemination of winged fruits by the wind. In fact, it is found wild in torrents and rivers.
Uses and Traditions –
American Maple can be used to make products based on wood fiber; light, light and fragile wood does not find great use in carpentry. Although, as in other maples, the sap is sugary, this is not enough to make it belong to the preferred species for the production of maple syrup.
It is a species widely used as an ornamental plant also for its rapid growth; it is typical of the gardens and avenues of northern and central Italy.
Preparation Mode –
In addition to uses as wood fiber and for ornamental purposes Acer negundo not other special applications. The same sap is rarely used for the production of maple syrups.
– Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
– Treben M., 2000. Health from the Pharmacy of the Lord, Advice and experience with medicinal herbs, Ennsthaler Publisher
– Pignatti S., 1982. Flora of Italy, Edagricole, Bologna.
– Conti F., Abbate G., Alessandrini A., Blasi C. (edited by), 2005. An annotated checklist of the Italian vascular flora, Palombi Editore.
Warning: Pharmaceutical applications and alimurgical uses are indicated for informational purposes only and do not in any way represent a medical prescription; there is therefore no liability for their use for curative, aesthetic or food purposes.