A deciduous, tall shrub, or small tree of bushy appearance, occasionally 25 ft high, with a short trunk; young shoots covered with grey down when young. Leaves three-lobed or sometimes five-lobed, 3 to 5 in. long, about the same wide, more or less heart-shaped at the base, coarsely toothed, covered with grey down beneath; lobes long-pointed. Flowers very small, produced in June on slender, erect racemes 3 to 6 in. long, greenish yellow, each flower on a slender stalk about 1⁄2 in. long. Fruit with wings about 1⁄2 in. long, 3⁄8 in. wide, each pair somewhat horse-shoe shaped, glabrous, red.
Native of the E. United States and Canada; introduced by Archibald, Duke of Argyll, in 1750. This maple, handsome in its slender racemes of bright red fruits, and red and yellow autumn tints, is not now common. Its most distinctive characters are its densely flowered, erect, slender racemes, and coarsely toothed, three-lobed leaves. There are two specimens of this maple in the Winkworth Arboretum, Godalming, Surrey, the taller 20 ft high (1967). A smaller example is in the Kew collection.