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May - Field Maple (Acer campestre)

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Field maple is a small, deciduous tree which can be up to 25m tall, but often reaches only 15m. It has fissured often corky bark. It prefers lime-rich soils in woodland, often as an understory to the oak, or in scrub and hedges. It's five petalled flowers are small and green. They are produced in upright clusters of 10-20 after the leaves have developed. Male and female flowers exist on the same tree. The males have eight stamens, the females a forked style. The fruits consist of a pair of 'propellers' each with a seed held at 180 degrees. The leaves have 3-5 lobes. They are hairless above but downy below on the veins. The leaf surface often has 'blisters' caused by a gall-forming mite. Picture taken May 19th 2006 near Northill, Bedfordshire.

Added:
29th May 2006 by Diane Earl

Subjects:
Biology, Science

Key Stages:
Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4, Key Stage 4+

Keywords:
plant tree fruit wildlife

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