The red maple is a deciduous tree with light bark. The leaves are opposite, simple, and usually three-lobed. The tiny flowers are borne in fascicles and are red or pinkish without petals and appear prior to the new leaves. The fruit is a pink or red samara, which kids refer to as helicopters because of their whirling movement when falling to the ground. Fossil leaves suggest that its range was even wider in recent geological time.
Wildlife – The flower secretes nectar, which might attract insects. The tree is one of the larval hosts of the eastern tiger swallowtail, Papilio glaucus, butterfly.
The Seminoles used red maple to treat “ballgame sickness” (sores, back or leg pain, and hemorrhoids). The inner bark was used to make bread.