|Acer shirasawanum subsp. var.||Shirasawa's Maple|
It is a deciduous large shrub or small tree growing to 8–15 m tall with a trunk up to 50 cm diameter. The bark is smooth on both young and old trees. The shoots are slender, and hairless. The leaves are rounded, 4.5–8 cm long and 6–12 cm broad, palmately veined and lobed, with 9–13 (rarely 7) serrate shallowly incised lobes; they are hairless, or thinly hairy at first with white hairs; the petiole is 3–7 cm long and hairless. In autumn, the leaves turn bright gold or orange to dark red. The flowers are 1 cm diameter, with five dark purplish-red sepals, five small whitish petals (soon lost), and red stamens; they are andromonoecious, with inflorescences containing flowers with either both sexes, or just male, and are produced 10–20 together in erect terminal corymbs in early spring soon after the leaves appear. The fruit is a paired samara with the nutlets 5–10 mm diameter with a 20–25 mm wing, erect above the leaves, bright red maturing brown.
It can be distinguished from its close relatives Acer japonicum (ハウチワカエデ hauchiwakaede) and Acer sieboldianum (コハウチワカエデ kohauchiwakaede) by its hairless shoots; from A. sieboldianum also by its red, not yellow, flowers.
It is grown as an ornamental tree in gardens for its foliage and fall colour, but is seen far less commonly than Acer palmatum (Japanese Maple). A number of cultivars have been selected; the lighter-coloured A. shirasawanum cultivar 'Aureum' is very widely grown, much more common in cultivation than the main species; it is propagated by grafting onto more hardy and fast-growing Acer species, in particular A. palmatum and A. japonicum.
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- Acer shirasawanum subsp. shirasawanum
- Acer shirasawanum subsp. tenuifolium
- w:Shirasawa's Maple. Some of the material on this page may be from Wikipedia, under the Creative Commons license.
- Shirasawa's Maple QR Code (Size 50, 100, 200, 500)
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