METROPOLITAN NATURALIST
PLANTS OF THE BALTIMORE-WASHINGTON AREA
TREES
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2  3
DECIDUOUS / SEED BEARING / HARDWOOD
EVERGREEN / CONIFERS / SOFTWOOD
FLOWERING PLANTS
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TREES
DECIDUOUS / SEED BEARING / HARDWOOD
Chicory Flower with Fly, The fly is an example of Batesian Mimicry
Winged seeds of the Maple trees (Acer sp.) - click for larger image
Maple Trees

There are several species of maple tree in our area. The Box Elder (Acer negundo)
and Red Maple (
Acer rubrum) are two abundant forest trees. The Norway Maple
and others are often planted as shade trees. All have winged seeds similar the
ones seen at the left. The pairs of seeds can be seen twirling to the ground when
they fall from the tree. The wings allow the wind to catch the seeds as they fall and
carry them away from the parent tree.  

Although the Sugar Maple (
Acer saccharum) is uncommon in our area, other
maples, including the Box Elder and Red Maple can also be used to make maple
syrup.
Flowers of the Red Maple (Acer rubrum) - click for larger image
Red Maple (Acer rubrum)

The Red Maple blooms early in the spring before the leaves emerge. The tree's
name comes from the red color of the flowers.
These pages contain a somewhat haphazard assortment of plants, all rather loosely categorized as trees, flowering
plants, ferns and things, or fungi. In the future I will re-categorize with a more botanically correct indexing. Plants listed
here are simply plants I happen to have pictures of at the moment, a list that will grow over time. For each I am
compiling interesting historical facts, including historical medical uses and food uses. These are included for
informational and historical purposes only. I recommend consulting a competent herbalist before trying any of these
for medicinal purposes. Many plants, including some medicinal plants, are poisonous, some can be dangerously
poisonous if misused or misidentified. Some may also interact with prescription drugs or other herbal remedies, or
may cause allergic reactions.

With an estimated 8 million people in the
Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan area we need to practice restraint in
harvesting our native plants. Many species are under pressure from habitat destruction. If you choose to use herbal
medicines or to harvest wild foods, please do so responsibly.
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