Acer ginnala is a multi-stemmed shrub or small tree to 7 m, twigs smooth, slender, gray-brown.
Leaves opposite, stalk 4 cm long, blade 4-8 cm long, to 6 cm wide 3-lobed, the center lobe much longer than the lateral lobes, margin doubly toothed, tips sharply pointed, base truncate to slightly lobed, dark green, lustrous above, paler below, becoming red or yellow in Fall, stalk to 4 cm, slender
Flowers yellowish-white, radially symmetrical, fragrant, small; in branched cluster with long stalk; blooms April-May as leaves unfold.
Fruit dry, a pair of winged seeds attached to one another (samara), wings almost parallel, nutlet ca. 2.5 cm long, attached at base, wings bent downward, nearly parallel; matures Sept.-Oct.
Wetland status: NL.
Frequency in NYC: Very infrequent.
Origin: China, Japan (Dirr 1990; Rehder 1986).
Habitat: Listed as potentially invasive in Connecticut (USDA, NRCS 2007). Apparently shade tolerant, found in closed canopy woodland.