Forest crops: Opal maple

Forest crops: Opal maple

Classification, origin and diffusion

Division: Spermatophyta
Subdivision: Angiospermae
Class: Dicotyledones
Family: Aceraceae

Opal Maple (or Italic Maple) is native to southern Europe, from Spain and France to the Balkans. In Italy it is present in the center-south, excluding Sardinia.

Opal Maple Flowers - Acer opalus Mill. (photo

Opal Maple Fruits - Acer opalus Mill. (photo

General characteristics

Size, trunk and bark
Tree up to 20 meters high, with dense and fairly globose crown. The trunk is straight, with gray-brown or reddish-gray rind, with opaque and chapped age.
Deciduous, opposite leaves, with long petiole, wide and long 6-18 x 5-14 cm, palmate-lobed with 5 lobes, serrated margin; the upper page is dark green and hairless, the lower one is more or less glabrous or tomentose.
Reproductive structures
The flowers, hermaphrodite and gathered in corimbiterminals and pendulums, develop before the leaves.
The fruits are hungry pendulums with wings spread at right angles.


The forest importance is very limited; little used as an ornamental essence.

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