Maple Tree Flowers: A Guide to Maple Varieties

Maple trees work well as shade, street, and specimen trees. They are widely spread throughout the northern hemisphere, with many people growing them as ornamental trees thanks to their vibrant and colorful fall leaves – they put on a display of reds, oranges, yellows, and brown. Some even sport multiple colors at once.

maple tree flowers

What’s more, they handle drought pretty well and are important for timber and sugar production.

If you are intrigued by the prospect of growing maple trees, you may want to know if these trees really flower. Well, maple trees usually have flowers. However, most of the blooms tend to be inconspicuous, with only a few varieties having showy blossoms.

This post will comprehensively cover maple tree flowers to help gardeners and homeowners make an informed decision before bringing this tree home.

Maple tree flowers

Maple flowers of most species are described as inconspicuous. Typically, the flowers resemble lilies in shape, albeit much smaller. They emerge as stalks off of the terminal branch end, where the stalks feature petals at the base and around the flower at the head of the bud.

Generally, maple buds show up in spring and are either male or female. Surprisingly, both male and female blooms can be found on the same tree, a condition known as monoecious.

Here is a selection of maple tree flowers:

1. Field maple flowers

Field maple flowers are yellowish-green corymbs, where about 10 to 25 flowers are arranged in short panicles. The flowers are usually hermaphrodite (unisexual) and appear together with the leaves. The panicles can stand upright or slightly protrude outwards.

Field maple flowers have a high nectar content.

2. Japanese maple flowers

Japanese maple flowers

The Japanese maple typically blooms in may, producing red, fragrant flowers. The red blooms are monoecious and hang on corymbs, blending well with the foliage.

Japanese maple flowers’ actual petals are at the end of the longish stems.

3. Vine maple flowers

Vine maple trees produce small, greenish flowers that hang out with up to 25 individual blooms in umbels. It may be worth noting that these flowers appear to be reddish from a distance because the bud leaves are red.

Vine maple flowers morph into red-winged fruits, which are eaten by wild birds and mammals.

4. Boxelder maple flowers

Boxelder maple trees usually bloom between March and April before budding. The female flowers are striking yellowish, long-hanging grapes, while their male counterparts are red and stand on cymes – a flat-topped inflorescence.

Although the flowers are different in color and appearance, they occur in the same plant, meaning they are dioecious.

5. Bigleaf maple flowers

Bigleaf maple trees bloom into the light green to yellow flowers. Unlike many maple species where the flowers emerge as clusters, bigleaf maple flowers pullulate along panicles about 5 inches long. Consequently, this forms a rounded cone resembling lilac flower clusters.

The flowers are monoecious and develop into two-winged nutlets arranged at right angles.

6. Red maple flowers

Unlike other species, the red maple boasts large, showy flowers. As the name suggests, the trees bloom into strikingly red flowers that are usually pedunculated.

Red maples will produce only female or only male flowers, and the flowers emerge before the leaf shoots.

7. Silver maple flowers

Silver maple trees typically bloom between February and March, producing greenish-yellow (male) or red flowers (female). Male flowers are staminate, while their female counterparts are predominantly pistillate. Although the flowers are relatively small, they are stunningly beautiful when viewed up close.

8. Sycamore maple flowers

Sycamore maple trees produce very small hermaphroditic flowers. The flowers pack a lot of nectar and hang down in panicles about 10 centimeters long. Their color ranges from yellow to green.

9. Norway maple flowers

Norway maple trees have greenish-yellow flowers that emerge long before the foliage in clusters of 10 to 30 buds, making a whole set about two inches wide. The flowers are unisexual and hermaphrodite, and both form upright, umbelliferous panicles.

10. Striped maple flowers

Striped maple blooms into unique flowers that sprout at the same time with leaves. The main flower is usually bell-shaped and yellowish-greenish in color. More flowers hang down on a strand.

11. Vine-leaf maple flowers

Unlike many other maple species, vine-leaf maple blooms after the leaf shoots. They produce inconspicuous yellowish flowers that spread along a raceme.

12. Italian maple flowers

Italian maple trees bloom into monoecious yellowish-green flowers that stand in cymes. You can only recognize the flowers only when you are close by.

Related Article: How Do You Plant a Japanese Maple in Clay Soil?