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Acer acuminatum Wall. ex D. Don (1825)

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Bean

Genus

Synonyms

  • A. caudatum Wall., in part (1831)

Other species in genus

Glossary

acute
Sharply pointed.
apex
(pl. apices) Tip. apical At the apex.
corymbose
In form of corymb.
androdioecious
With only male or only hermaphrodite flowers on individual plants.
glabrous
Lacking hairs smooth. glabrescent Becoming hairless.
herbarium
A collection of preserved plant specimens; also the building in which such specimens are housed.
inflorescence
Flower-bearing part of a plant; arrangement of flowers on the floral axis.
lax
Loose or open.
midrib
midveinCentral and principal vein in a leaf.
nutlet
Small nut. Term may also be applied to an achene or part of a schizocarp.
simple
(of a leaf) Unlobed or undivided.

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A small, deciduous tree with smooth, purplish young stems. Leaves three-lobed, or five-lobed with the basal pair of lobes very small; blades 312 to 512 in. long and about as wide, lobes triangular, prolonged at the apex into tail-like points which are often strikingly long and slender, sharply toothed, often doubly so, the midrib and main nerves of the under-surface covered at first with whitish or yellowish hairs but becoming glabrous except for hairs in the axils of the nerves near the base; leaf-stalks 134 to 4 in. long, covered with white down at first, later glabrous or remaining hairy near the apex. Male flowers in corymbs. Fruits in simple lax racemes 4 to 7 in. long, borne on pedicels 35 to 115 in. long; wings of fruit diverging at an acute angle, 118 to 134 in long with the nutlet, 13 to 12 in. wide.

Native of the W. Himalaya from Kashmir to Kumaon; date of introduction uncertain. For the reasons explained in the note, this species has been much confused with A. papilio (A. caudatum sensu Rehder) but is distinguished from that species by the soon glabrous leaves, the corymbose male inflorescence, and by the fruits being borne in long, lax racemes on pedicels much longer than in A. papilio; the fruits are also larger, with less spreading wings.

Acer acuminatum is represented in the maple collection at Kew by a specimen 18 ft high, raised from seeds received under the name “A. pentapomicum”.

Footnotes

Note: A. acuminatum was described by David Don (Prodr. Fl. Nepal., p. 249 (1825)) from a specimen collected at ‘Sirinagur’ by Kamroop, one of the native collectors employed by Nathaniel Wallich, who was for many years the Superintendent of the East India Company’s Botanic Garden at Calcutta. Don took the name from one of Wallich’s letters. The name A. acuminatum does not occur in the so-called Wallich Catalogue (the ‘Numerical List’ of the East India Company’s herbarium which Wallich wrote), but under No. 1225 Acer caudatum there is material collected by Kamroop ‘Ex alpibus Sirinagur’, which agrees with A. acuminatum. Indeed, all the material under this number is A. acuminatum except for one sterile specimen which may be A. papilio. When Wallich came to describe his A. caudatum (Pl. As. Rar., Vol. 2, p. 4, p. 28 and t. 132 (1831)), he cited the collections he had enumerated under No. 1225 and therefore A. caudatum Wall. consists, in part, of A. acuminatum.

From the Supplement (Vol. V)

A. acuminatum is a dioecious species, allied to A. argutum and A. barbinerve. It is now known to extend farther east than Kumaon, having been collected recently in various parts of Nepal. There is an example in the Edinburgh Botanic Garden, measuring 52 × 312 ft (1985), and there are young plants at Wakehurst Place, Sussex, from seeds collected in eastern Nepal (Schilling 2286).

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