maple family

maple family
the plant family Aceraceae, typified by trees and shrubs having sweet sap, simple opposite leaves usually lobed or toothed, clusters of small flowers, and fruit in the form of a double-winged nutlet, and including maples and the box elder.

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Family Aceraceae, composed of about 200 species (in the genera Dipteronia in China and Acer across the Northern Hemisphere) of ornamental, shade, and timber trees.

Maples are important ornamentals for lawns, along streets, and in parks. They offer a great variety of form, size, and foliage; many display striking autumn colour. The red maple (A. rubrum) is one of the most common trees in its native eastern North America, where it tolerates compacted wet soils and city pollution. Box elder (A. negundo) grows quickly to 30–50 ft (9–15 m) and resists drought, so early prairie settlers planted many for shade and for wood to make crates, furniture, paper pulp, and charcoal. The watery, sweet sap of the sugar maple (A. saccharum) is boiled down for syrup and sugar; the wood of certain sugar maples is used for furniture.

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Universalium. 2010.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • maple family — n. (Bot.) The natural family of trees {Aceraceae}, including the maples. [WordNet 1.5] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • maple family — noun a family of trees and shrubs of order Sapindales including the maples • Syn: ↑Aceraceae, ↑family Aceraceae • Hypernyms: ↑dicot family, ↑magnoliopsid family • Member Holonyms: ↑Sapindales, ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • maple — [mā′pəl] n. [ME < OE mapel(treo), akin to ON mǫpurr] 1. any of a large genus (Acer) of trees of the maple family, grown for wood, sap, or shade 2. the hard, closegrained, light colored wood of such a tree, used for furniture, flooring, etc. 3 …   English World dictionary

  • maple — maplelike, adj. /may peuhl/, n. 1. any of numerous trees or shrubs of the genus Acer, species of which are grown as shade or ornamental trees, for timber, or for sap. Cf. maple family. 2. the wood of any such tree. 3. the flavor of maple syrup or …   Universalium

  • maple — noun Etymology: Middle English, from Old English mapul ; akin to Old Norse mǫpurr maple Date: 14th century any of a genus (Acer of the family Aceraceae, the maple family) of chiefly deciduous trees or shrubs with opposite leaves and a fruit of… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • family — /fam euh lee, fam lee/, n., pl. families, adj. n. 1. parents and their children, considered as a group, whether dwelling together or not. 2. the children of one person or one couple collectively: We want a large family. 3. the spouse and children …   Universalium

  • family Aceraceae — noun a family of trees and shrubs of order Sapindales including the maples • Syn: ↑Aceraceae, ↑maple family • Hypernyms: ↑dicot family, ↑magnoliopsid family • Member Holonyms: ↑Sapindales, ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

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