Montpellier maple - Acer monspessulanum

I first came across the Montpellier maple tree while hiking in the Torcal de Antequera national park in Southern Spain.

I had no idea that is was a Maple tree species until I found a description of the Acer monspessulanum in a book that I was given about trees in Spain.

Since then I have been back to the Torcal nature park a number of times to observe this tree during the different seasons. It seems to me that this tree is native to the park as it is very improbable that it has been introduced. The Torcal park is a practically untouched natural environment and this Maple tree species is quite evenly spread throughout the whole Kharst formation.

This tree can be distinguished from other Maples by its small three lobed leaves that are about 4-5 cm across. Their color is light green when new turning darker as they age.

The Samaras are start out light green and then turn slightly reddish as can be seen in the image below. I would describe them but I think the picture below does a much better job than I could with words.

Below is a picture of the small "flowers" that precede the Samaras.
Below is one of the trees that I found in Torcal de Antequera. The rock formations are a Limestone kharst formation that is one of the most interesting natural environments that I have ever encountered.

Below is a view of what the Limestone Kharst formation looks like at the Torcal nature park. The trees in the middle are Montpellier maples (picture taken in the winter when the trees were without leaves).

More trees that might interest you...
Red Maple - Acer rubrum
Boxelder Maple - Acer negundo
Big Leaf Maple - Acer macrophyllum
Vine Maple - Acer circinatum
Sycamore Maple
Common Horse Chestnut
Malabar Chestnut
Persian lilac

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