This section is from the book "Wayside And Woodland Blossoms", by Edward Step. Also available from Amazon: Wayside And Woodland Blossoms: A Guide To British Wild-Flowers.
Our English Maple is the Common or Small-leaved or Field Maple (Acer campestre) that grows wild in hedgerows and thickets in England and Wales, but is only naturalized in Scotland. It is a small spreading tree, scarcely exceeding twenty feet in height, with leaves five-lobed, the lobes again lobed or toothed. The flowers are small, green, in corymbs, with narrow sepals and narrower petals, succeeded by two-winged two-seeded fruits called samaras; the wings being horizontal. Flowers May and June.
The Great Maple or Sycamore (A. pseudo-platanus) is a tree commonly grown in the streets, squares, and parks of London and other great cities on account of its smoke-enduring qualities. It has been so long established here that it is generally but erroneously regarded as a native. It is a tree of very rapid growth, and attains a height of about eighty feet; living upwards of two hundred years. Leaves large, five-lobed, unequally toothed. Flowers, greenish-yellow, May and June. Samaras large, wings diverging. Native of Mid-Europe and Western Asia.
Acer platanoides. - Sapindaceae.The genus is named in honour of Jean Robin, a French botanist, whose son cultivated the first specimens of R. pseudacacia in Europe.
Acer is the old Roman name for the Maple.