I have been pressing hundreds of Maple seeds each day. The trees are at peak production at this time of year, although some varieties produce seed in the Autumn. The proper name for Maple seeds is Samara. They are also known as whirlybirds, helicopters and keys. I press Maple keys by cutting away the seed, and gently heating them in a book with porous pages.
Maple keys come in a large variety of sizes and colors. I pull some of the keys from the trees to capture their bright green, pink or apricot colors. The seeds quickly fade in color after their whirling flight from the mother tree, but these muted colors also have great uses in pressed flower compositions. Pictured below are a few ideas for using Maple Keys.
Two halves make a pretty heart shape.
Combined with other flowers and leaves, the keys create interesting effects as butterflies and dragonflies.
Maple keys make great fairy wings.
Maples are amazing trees. They provide us with many products. Maple is used for fine furniture, the sap makes amazing syrup, and new to me was the fact that you can actually eat the fruit of the tree. Remove the husks from the seeds and they can be boiled, roasted and even pounded into a flour. Amazing! God has given us so many beneficial trees in our world, and I am very grateful for the beauty and resource of the common Maple tree.
Preparedness Tip: How to use Maple seeds as a food source.