American Univesity of Beirut

Taurus Maple

​​Acer hyrcanum ssp. tauricolum, قيقب طوروسي

Altitude: 1500-2000 m
Month of Collection: October- December

Delivery of Orders:

  • Small trees for reforestation: $3/tree (Oct – Dec)
  • Medium-sized trees for landscaping: $15/tree (any time)
Maples include diverse species that vary in size and form; some grow as single-trunked trees and others as multi-stemmed shrubs. In autumn, they display brilliant red or yellow foliage before shedding their leaves for the winter. The word for Maple in Arabic, Qayqab, also means saddle, suggesting that saddles were once made out of maple wood from native trees. Despite their diversity, maples are relatively easy to identify by their fruits and leaves. Their fruits, called samaras, have insect-like pairs of wings. When strong winds blow or the tree is shaken, the mature samaras detach from the tree, and their wings twirl like the rotors of a helicopter as the seeds drift to the ground. 
Three species of Maple grow in the eastern Mediterranean: Hermon, Syrian, and Taurus.

The Taurus Maple can only be found at high altitudes of 1500 meters and higher, along the western side of the Mount Lebanon chain, where the precipitation is relatively high and can support dense woodlands. It can be found in Barouk, Ehden, Maaser El Shouf, and Tannourine. The Taurus Maple is a shrubby tree with multiple trunks and a spreading, round silhouette. It has five-lobed leaves that turn bright yellow in autumn before they are shed. You can easily identify them from other trees by their samaras. To observe the presence of wildlife, look at the base of the tree and you may find the empty fruit wall, left by animals who have eaten the seeds.

  • This text is an exerpt from the book Trees of Lebanon©, which includes additional information on how to grow and care for the described tree.

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