Acer griseum

19 Aug

Acer griseum (15/08/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Acer griseum (15/08/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Full sun to light shade

Flowering period: Late spring

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 12m

Eventual Spread: 9m

Hardiness: 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a

Family: Sapindaceae

Acer griseum Autumn Leaf (16/11/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Acer griseum Autumn Leaf (16/11/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Acer griseum is a slow growing, small, spreading, deciduous tree. Its dark green leaves are compound with three leaflets, each up to 8cm long and 5cm broad and have blunt teeth on their margins. They are blue/ green on their undersides. Its leaves turn orange and red in autumn before they fall. Its trunk may achieve a diameter of 70cm. Its distinctive orange/ brown bark is smooth and peeling in paper thin layers. Its yellow flowers are small, produced in corymbs. Its green fruit is a samara which is up to 4cm long.

Acer griseum Leaf (15/08/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Acer griseum Leaf (15/08/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Acer griseum, commonly known as the Paperbark Maple, is native to central China. It was introduced into the UK in 1901 by Ernest Wilson. Acer griseum is synonymous with Acer nikoense var. grideum.

The etymology of the binomial name Acer is derived from the classical Latin name for the Maple. Griseum is from the Latin meaning ‘Grey’.

Acer griseum Bark (15/08/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Acer griseum Bark (15/08/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

The landscape architect may find  Acer griseum useful as a small tree with attractive peeling bark and autumn leaf colour.

Ecologically, Acer griseum is attractive to pollinating insects.

The Royal Horticultural Society has given  Acer griseum their prestigious Award of Garden Merit in 1993.

Acer griseum Seed (28/07/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

Acer griseum Seed (28/07/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

Acer griseum prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil.

Acer griseum requires little maintenance. Pruning should be carried out during the dormant months.

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One Response to “Acer griseum”

  1. Jill Blackburn 19/08/2012 at 18:01 #

    This is one of my very favorite trees, first introduced to me at the Arnold Arboretum back in the early 80’s. I now have my very own, here in North Idaho, planted two years ago and now a whopping 2 feet tall! Just hope I am still around to enjoy it at its maturity.

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