poetry and prose about place

maple blossoms

with 14 comments

This week, as Red Maple (Acer rubrum) flowers bloom, the woodland blushes scarlet.  In the driveway, a tree-shadow of blossoms has begun to form, as the flower clusters reach their peak and then drop to the ground.

Each flower is a puff of reddish-pink bracts surrounding the male and female flower parts.  The stamens (the male part of the flower) consist of a thin filament topped by a dark anther where the pollen is formed.  The pistil (the female part) is made of a style topped by a stigma; once fertilised by pollen, the maple seeds will form here.  Red maple flowers may have both stamens and pistils, or may be only male or only female.  The flower looks like a tiny fireworks, the burst-effect created by a bundle of stamens or stigmas.

When I went to Dalhousie University in Halifax, I always loved the flowering of the Norway Maples (Acer platanoides) in spring.  Their flowers are green and most people mistake them for new leaves.  I used to wonder what the ecosystem consequences might be if the flowers were bright orange or purple instead of green.



red maple blossoms


across brown sky

strontium bursts of bright

sparks bloom

against dark



©  Jane Tims 2012

Written by jane tims

April 23, 2012 at 6:42 am

14 Responses

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  1. I’m going to have to pay more attention to trees flowering!


    Watching Seasons

    April 26, 2012 at 8:48 pm

  2. Mmm, gorgeous! I love your use of subtle alliteration… strontium bursts of bright sparks bloom is delicious to say. 😀


    Eve Redwater

    April 26, 2012 at 3:00 pm

  3. This post conjures beautiful images…”woodland blushes scarlet” and “like tiny fireworks.” I too have Norway Maples full of these fireworks now in the yard. One of my favourites sights is the flowers that burst forth from these maples each spring. You’ve captured that so well in this post.

    And CONGRATULATIONS. Honourable Mention for the Alfred G. Bailey Prize for Poetry in the Writers’ Federation of New Brunswick 2012 Competition for your “Waterfall”…wow…and congratulations on this recognition of your work. You deserve this and more.


    Carol Steel

    April 24, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    • Hi Carol. I’m glad you like the post. And thank you for your congratulations! I am pleased … a nice way to start off my writing ‘career’ as I retire in a couple of days. I hope to see you at WordSpring??? Jane


      jane tims

      April 25, 2012 at 7:11 am

  4. Lovely and also informative, as usual. I have never thought of these early blossomings of our trees as flowers, just as signs that the leaves are almost here but they sure take a long time. This will change my perspective. 🙂


    Jane Fritz

    April 24, 2012 at 12:34 pm

  5. I have a swamp maple outside my front door… and this time of year watching the bracts turn into leaves creates the most wonderful patterns against the gray storm clouds. And there is always a carpet of red buds lying at my feet as I leave in the morning. So glad someone else enjoys them too.



    April 23, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    • Hi. The big maple outside our door dropped its flowers yesterday… all over our truck. It is like driving in a flower storm! Jane.


      jane tims

      April 24, 2012 at 6:54 am

      • I love the “red carpet” effect.



        April 24, 2012 at 4:12 pm

      • Hi. The ‘carpet’ is so pronounced, you can see the outline of my car in the red on the driveway. Jane


        jane tims

        April 25, 2012 at 7:13 am

  6. Beautiful post Jane, educational, and creative.
    Interested to see you studied in Halifax NS. I got ‘distant relations’ in Sydney NS, although I haven’t heard from them lately. They are/were both elderly doctors, originally from Northumberland, England, but left for Canada in 1948. I met the lady once, and she still had a very strong Geordie accent. The relation is/was her husband.



    April 23, 2012 at 8:21 am

    • Hi. Thanks for the comment. I have been to Sydney several times. Cape Breton is an interesting place, beautiful scenery and a unique culture. Jane


      jane tims

      April 24, 2012 at 6:46 am

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