Three species of maple trees are predominantly used to produce maple syrup: the sugar maple (Acer saccharum), the black maple (A. nigrum), and the red maple (A. rubrum), because of the high sugar content (roughly two to five percent) in the sap of these species. The black maple is included as a subspecies or variety in a more broadly viewed concept of A. saccharum, the sugar maple, by some botanists. Of these, the red maple has a shorter season because it buds earlier than sugar and black maples, which alters the flavour of the sap.
A few other (but not all) species of maple (Acer) are also sometimes used as sources of sap for producing maple syrup, including the box elder or Manitoba maple (Acer negundo), the silver maple (A. sacharinum), and the bigleaf maple (A. macrophyllum). Similar syrups may also be produced from birch or palm trees, among other sources.
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