Acer (family Aceraceae) A genus of trees in which the leaves are without stipules, opposite, and entire, or often palmately lobed (but pinnate in A. negundo, box elder). Regular, pentamerous flowers are borne in racemes, corymbs, or umbels. The fruit is a samara. These trees are important for timber, many small Japanese species and varieties are ornamentals, and in N. America maple syrup is obtained mainly from A. saccharum. Field maple (A. campestre) is wild in Britain; sycamore (A. pseudoplatanus), from southern Europe, is naturalized in Britain. There are 111 known species, mainly northern temperate, and a few in tropical mountains. China has most native species.
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