Italian maple (Acer opalus)
The italian maple is a species of maple native to the hills and mountains of southern and western Europe, from Italy to Spain and north to southern Germany, and also in northwest Africa in Morocco and Algeria.
Acer opalus is a medium-sized deciduous tree growing to 20 metres tall, with a trunk up to 1 m diameter. The leaves are glossy green, 7–13 centimetres long and 5–16 centimetres across, palmately lobed with blunt teeth. They turn yellow in autumn.
The bark is grey and pinkish. It peels in square plates. It has small yellow flowers that open before the leaves appear. The fruit is a pair of winged samaras, each seed up to 1 centimetre in diameter with a 1.5–2.5 centimetres wing.
The leaves resemble those of the better-known sycamore maple (Photo: G. Aas)
Stately specimen of a Italian maple (Photo: G. Aas)