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Unfolding leaves blackish red; on young trees the leaves at the tips of the summer growths are bright red. An old garden form, propagated by grafting or layers; introduced to Britain in 1846 and probably first distributed by Booth’s nurseries, Hamburg. It is commoner in cultivation than the normal form and more desirable. It has rarely exceeded 60 ft in cultivation but there are two trees at Westonbirt, near the Main Gate, one 75 × 7 ft and another, a sucker from this, 77 × 3{3/4} ft (1966). Similar forms are found wild in Dagestan on the western shores of the Caspian Sea, where, according to Van Volxem, they grow intermixed with the type, with all shades of difference between the two extremes; f. rubrum (Kitchn.) Rehd. is a collective name, referring to all such forms, wild or cultivated.


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