maple Acer ginnala
maple is a small tree that may reach a height of approximately
20 feet. Like other maples, it has opposite, simple leaves with shallow
lobes, and red, winged fruits that develop in late summer. A native of
China and Japan, this plant was introduced into the United States because
of its colorful autumn foliage, and it is widely planted as an ornamental.
The fruits are dispersed by wind. Seeds germinate easily, and a single
tree can produce 5,000 or more fruits annually. This species is most invasive
in open lands, such as pastures and woodlands. It is currently found growing
wild in DuPage, Jackson and Union counties.
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