The ash-leaved maple is a tree of American origin that extends from Canada to the north to Guatemala to the south. The term negundo is the name given to this species in one of their places of origin, Mexico, although this specific name could come from the Sanskrit word nurgundi, used to designate a tree with similar leaves from India. Nevertheless, the origin of this tree is American.
For its ornamental value, contamination resistance, rapid growth and longevity - it can easily reach 200 years- the ash-leaved maple has been introduced in streets and roads of much of the world. Its ability to adapt to different climatic situations honours the origin of its name, acer, from the Latin ‘hard’.
It came first to England from America, where we have record of a first specimen in Fulham Garden in 1688. From the British Isles it is introduced in a few years in Holland, Germany and from there to the rest of the continent, including Spain. Thus, it is not one of the species introduced in Europe by Spaniards during the colonial era. As did the Spanish in the 16th century, Europeans generally chose to give the plants of America the Latin names of the plants that comparatively they already knew in the Old World, i.e. Asia, Europe and a little bit of Africa. This is a maple, yes, but the ash-leaved type.