Montpellier maple (Eng), arce de Montpellier, arce (Spa), auró negre (Cat), eihar frantsesa (Baq), bordo-de-Monphiler (Por).
DID YOU KNOW...? Together with boxwood and olive trees, the wood of this maple was used to produce lacemaking bobbins.
This maple is a small tree that reaches 10 m in height and often has a dense crown that provides a lot of shade. The leaves are deciduous although somewhat leathery. They are simple, opposite and have 3 more or less equal lobes, a glossy upper side and a matt underside. The leaf blade is small compared to that of other maples: it is 2.5-4.5 cm long, 2-6 cm wide and has a very long stalk. These leaves do not secrete latex when cut. The flowers are not showy and the fruits are paired samaras, or keys, which have globose seeds and wings forming a very tight angle.
This maple is adapted to the Mediterranean climate, with some dry spells in the summer and cold winters. It grows on all soil types, but prefers limestone and even thrives on rock and scree. It does not form forests, but is found with other tree species with a similar ecology, as long as there is sufficient humidity. We find it from sea level up to altitudes of 1000 m. It sprouts well from stumps, is slow-growing and can live 100 years.
This tree lives in the Mediterranean region and southwestern Asia. In the Iberian Peninsula, it is most abundant in the east and northern half.