Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Acer platanoides L.

Fully hardy, vigorous, spreading, deciduous tree with large, broadly ovate, 3-5 lobed, dark green leaves, turning red or yellow in autumn.  It bears small, but conspicuous, upright corymbs of yellow flowers.  To 25m.  [RHSE, Hilliers’].

Horticultural & Botanical History

Botanically described as Acer platanoides by Linnaeus in 1753, the name by which it is still known today [Sp. Pl. p.1055/1753].

Introduced to Britain in 1683.  [JD]. Much used as a street tree in Europe and the United States in the 19th century. It is still a popular street and garden shade tree in Australia, particularly the forms that provide good autumn colour.

‘The beautiful Norway Maple standing by the curb-stone is a common sight in our city streets. Its roots strike deep and spread laterally, this enables it to hold its own in the struggle with city environments. It comes to us from Europe, its range there extending from Norway to Switzerland. The leaves have a marked resemblance to those of the sugar maple, in form, but are thicker in texture and darker in color. They remain upon the tree fully two weeks longer than those of our native maples and become yellow or fall with little change of color. The petioles are long and when broken exude an acrid milky sap which quickly coagulates. This peculiarity enables one to determine the tree with little difficulty. The greenish flowers appear with the leaves in a short corymbose raceme; the fruit, also borne in short racemes, is a key with widely divergent wings. The tree reaches the height of sixty feet, develops a broad round head, and becomes strong and sturdy. Its winter buds are large and red; its branchlets at first are green, later they become reddish brown and shining.’ [Our Native Trees and How to Identify Them p.82/1917].

History at Camden Park

Grown in the gardens before 1843.  Listed in all published catalogues [T.14/1843].


Published Feb 19, 2009 - 05:12 PM | Last updated Jun 14, 2011 - 04:43 PM

This old photograph shows a fruiting spray with leaves and seeds.

Acer platanoides L. | Our Native Trees and How to Identify Them p.81/1917 | BHL

Family Aceraceae
Region of origin


  • Acer dieckii (Pax) Pax
  • Acer fallax Pax
  • Acer laciniatum Borkh. ex Tratt
  • Acer lactescens Pers.
  • Acer lobergii Dippel
  • Acer platanifolium Stokes
  • Acer palmatifidum Tausch ex Steud.
  • Acer reitenbachii Dippel
  • Acer rotundum Dulac
  • Acer schweidleri K.Koch
  • Acer vitifolium Opiz ex Tausch.
  • Euacer acutifolium Opiz
  • Euacer platanoides (L.) Opiz
Common Name

Norway maple

Name in the Camden Park Record

Acer platanoides - Norway maple 

Confidence level high