A deciduous tree, ultimately 50 to 60 ft high, whose erect branches give it a narrow columnar form; young shoots glabrous, bluish grey. Leaves palmate, five-lobed, 4 to 7 in. wide, rather less in length (smaller leaves are often three-lobed); heart-shaped or truncate at the base, glabrous and dark green above, paler beneath, with tufts of hair in the axils of the veins; lobes ovate, ending in a long drawn-out point. Flowers in corymbs, yellow. Fruit glabrous, with keys 1 to 11⁄4 in. long; wings 1⁄3 in. wide, wide-spreading but not quite horizontal.
Native of S. Italy; said to have been introduced in 1683. This maple is closely allied to the Norway maple, and by some authorities is made a variety of it. It has the same inflorescence, fruits, and milky sap in the leaf-stalks. The erect narrow habit, however, at once distinguishes it, the cleft at the base of the leaves is not so deep, and the terminal lobes have not the few large teeth so frequently in the Norway maple; the young bark also is markedly striped. It is perhaps even more closely allied to A. cappadocicum which it resembles in the entire lobes of the leaves; but from which it differs in the leaves being darker green, three- to five-lobed (never seven-lobed as in A. cappadocicum), with the basal pair of lobes directed forward (not spreading horizontally) and in the glaucous, not green young stems. It is a handsome, well-marked, and vigorous tree. There is a tree of exceptional size at Westonbirt in the area known as Clay Island, pl. 1922, 73 × 51⁄4 ft (1966). Others of size are: Edinburgh Botanic Garden, 57 × 63⁄4 ft (1966); Borde Hill, Sussex, 60 × 81⁄2 ft (1967); Birr Castle, Co. Offaly, Eire, pl. 1932, 60 × 33⁄4 ft (1966).