Red Maple

Acer rubrum


Other Names:
Swamp Maple, Water Maple, Soft Maple

The Red Maple is a native tree found throughout Virginia. Many species of birds forage in Red Maples, and both birds and mammals sometimes use cavities in them. It is one of the most adaptable trees to a wide range of site conditions, but it is not considered to be a long-lived tree. The Red Maple is sometimes used in the production of maple syrup, but other species of maple are preferable. The wood is popular with makers of furniture and musical instruments. Many Red Maples, including some at Monticello Park, are affected by Ocellate Gall Midges. These tiny insects deposit their eggs exclusively on Red Maple leaves. The resulting round galls are rarely abundant enough to injure the tree, but they can mar a tree's appearance. (See photos below.) The word "ocellate" means "having little eyes", and the term "ocelli" is used to describe the tiny eyes of spiders and the spots on peacock feathers.

Identification Tools

Illinois Wildflowers Friends of the Wildflower Garden Go Botany


North America Virginia

Red Maple with gall midges
Red Maple leaves, some of which have Ocellate Gall Midges (Acericecis ocellaris)

Red Maple with gall midges
Ocellate Gall Midges (Acericecis ocellaris) on Red Maple leaf

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