The White or Silver-leaved maple. (A. eriocarpum.) This species somewhat resembles the Scarlet-flowering maple, and they are often confounded together in the eastern and middle states, where it grows but sparingly. West of the Alleghany mountains it is seen in perfection, and is well known as the White maple. Its flowers are very pale in color, and much smaller than those of the foregoing sorts. The leaves are divided into four lobes, and have a beautiful white under surface. Michaux, speaking of this tree, says: "In no part of the United States is it more multiplied than in the western country, and nowhere is its vegetation more luxuriant than on the banks of the Ohio. There, sometimes alone and sometimes mingled with the willow, which is found along these waters, it contributes singularly, by its magnificent foliage, to the embellishment of the scene. The brilliant white of the leaves beneath, forms a striking contrast with the bright green above; and the alternate reflection of the two surfaces in the water, heightening the beauty of this wonderful moving mirror, aids in forming an enchanting picture, which, during my long excursions in a canoe in these regions of solitude and silence, I contemplated with unwearied admiration."* There, on those fine, deep, alluvial soils, it often attains twelve or fifteen feet in circumference. (* N. A. Sylva, i. 214.)
As an ornamental variety, the Silver-leaved maple is one of the most valuable. It is exceedingly rapid in its growth, often making shoots six feet long in a season; and the silvery hue of its foliage, when stirred by the wind, as well as its fine, half drooping habit, render it highly interesting to the planter. Admirable specimens of this species may be seen in the wide streets of Burlington, N. J.