Leaves: Opposite, simple, alternate, blades to 8 inches long, and nearly as broad, deeply, palmately 5-lobed, the edges of the leaves sharply toothed, pale green and smooth on the upper surface, silvery-white and usually smooth on the lower surface, except in the leaf axils; leafstalks smooth, up to 5 inches long, often reddish.
Buds: More or less rounded, reddish-brown, smooth to finely hairy, up to 1/8 inch long.
Bark: Gray or silvery, smooth at first becoming loose or scaly or even somewhat shaggy when old.
Twigs: Slender, reddish-brown, smooth, often curving upward, leaf scars opposite, U-shaped, with 3 bundle traces.
Flowers: Staminate and pistillate borne separately, but sometimes on the same tree, in dense clusters, greenish-yellow, opening in February and March before the leaves begin to unfold.
Fruits: Borne in pairs, composed of a curved wing with a seed at the base, green or yellow, up to 3 inches long.
Wood: Hard, close-grained, pale brown.
Uses: Furniture; sometimes grown as an ornamental, but branchlets are brittle.
Habitat: Wet soil.
Growth Form: Medium to large tree up to 100 feet tall, trunk diameter up to 5 feet; crown usually broadly rounded. The deeply lobed leaves which are silvery-white on the flower surface best distinguish this tree.
Distinguishing Feature: The deeply lobed leaves which are silver-white on the flower surface best distinguish this tree.