The vine maple (Acer circinatum) is a deciduous maple shrub/small tree that can grow to seven meters tall. The branches are very independent and tend to root and form new thickets of vine maple. The stems become pale green and dull brown with time. It has maple leaves, as the name implies, which are oppositely arranged. They can reach five to twelve centimeters across, and differ from other maples with seven to nine lobes, toothed and hairy underneath. It produces white flowers six to nine millimeters across, those of which are arranged in clusters at the end of the shoots. It produces winged fruits two to four centimeters long, each pair with its own set of widely-spaced wings, which enable them to travel farther for seed dispersal. It prefers moist places and can survive under other canopies, typically where light can enter the forest floor, but sometimes at the edges of forests and ecotones.