I picked up these seeds on the streets of Marrakech in Morocco (I've found similar seeds in Lisboa, Portugal), thinking they were Maple/Acer seeds. Upon germination (which took an awful lot of time) it turned out they weren't Acer at all. What are they? Scale is in cm.

Not-Acer seeds and their seedlings

  • 2
    That doesn't look like a sterilized mix. Could be different seeds that sprouted first.
    – J. Musser
    Jan 24, 2017 at 11:49
  • Could you dig near the roots, to see it the seedling grow from the winged seed? Jan 24, 2017 at 12:49
  • I left Morocco and Portugal half a year ago, so the above is all I can provide. At that time I was certain they were Maple seeds, so I didn't even consider looking for alternative sources. Jan 24, 2017 at 16:46

1 Answer 1


It might be Tipuana tipu - its a South American tree, a member of the Fabaceae or legume family, widely planted in warmer regions of the world. Scroll down this link, under 'Helicopters (whirlibirds)': - Blowing In The Wind - Seeds & Fruits Dispersed By Wind.

  • I went to same conclusion (it seemed more a Fabaceae), but the form seems still more Acer, and it is not so frequent in mediteranean (AFAIK) Jan 24, 2017 at 15:19
  • I agree, it certainly looks like Tipuana tipu, both the seeds and the leaves. If nobody has any objections, I will mark this as a valid answer. Thanks for the help! Jan 24, 2017 at 16:47
  • I agree. Fabaceae 100%. This is not an Acer seedling but the seeds most definitely are.
    – Brenn
    Jan 25, 2017 at 2:49
  • @Brenn uh? Tipuana does produce samaras like these, even though they could be Acer seeds going from appearance alone
    – Bamboo
    Jan 25, 2017 at 11:24
  • My bad. You're right. On my phone, I didn't see that this seed terminated in a funicle as opposed to another samara. I now agree that it's Tipuana, a genus I was not immediately familiar with.
    – Brenn
    Jan 25, 2017 at 14:56

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