These broad-leafed deciduous plants belong to the Aceracee family. The Acer genus includes about 150 different species, all from the Northern Hemisphere (Europe, Asia, America), but only 8 grow naturally in Italy.
Among the maples of Italy the most important are the Norway Maple (Acer Platanoides), Acer Opalus, Field Maple (Acer campestre), mountain varieties, and the Italian Maple (Acer Opalus). They are rustic plants, used to the cold, that require rich, well-drained soil.
All maples can be found in temperate zones and aside from seeming fit for a forest, they must also be appreciated for the beauty they add to landscapes when winter draws near and their foliage takes on shades from yellow to vibrant red, according to the species, and creates a magnificent effect difficult to put into words.
The flowers of the maple are small, usually hermaphrodites, gathered in yellow-green bunches; the leaves vary greatly from species to species (from simple to compound, palm, even with up to 7 lobes), with long petioles and very obvious palmate veins. Some varieties of the Acero are grown for their ornamental foliage while others are grown for their wood and bark.