Acer hookeri Miq.

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Bean

Genus

Other species in genus

Glossary

apex
(pl. apices) Tip. apical At the apex.
glabrous
Lacking hairs smooth. glabrescent Becoming hairless.
ovate
Egg-shaped; broadest towards the stem.
spike
Inflorescence in which flowers sessile on the main axis.
subspecies
(subsp.) Taxonomic rank for a group of organisms showing the principal characters of a species but with significant definable morphological differentiation. A subspecies occurs in populations that can occupy a distinct geographical range or habitat.
synonym
(syn.) (botanical) An alternative or former name for a taxon usually considered to be invalid (often given in brackets). Synonyms arise when a taxon has been described more than once (the prior name usually being the one accepted as correct) or if an article of the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature has been contravened requiring the publishing of a new name. Developments in taxonomic thought may be reflected in an increasing list of synonyms as generic or specific concepts change over time.

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Bean

A deciduous tree 40 to 50 ft high; young shoots glabrous, red. Leaves not lobed, 3 to 6 in. long, half as wide, ovate with a heart-shaped base, the apex contracted, slender, tail-like, sharply toothed, glabrous; stalk slender, 1 to 2 in. long. Flowers 16 in. wide, borne on slender racemes about as long as the leaves, stalks thread-like, 13 in. long. Fruits with wings about 12 in. long, curved, spreading at angles of 90° to 120°.

Native of the E. Himalaya at altitudes of 9,000 to 10,000 ft. It is not hardy but has been grown successfully in Cornwall. The red young shoots are attractive and the fruits hang very elegantly.

From the Supplement (Vol. V)

A. sikkimense subsp. hookeri (Miq.) Wesm.; A. sikkimense subsp. davidii (Franch.) Wesm., sens. E. Murray, in part.

The above synonyms imply that A. hookeri is not specifically distinct from A. sikkimense, for which see below. The second synonym further implies that in Edward Murray’s view A. hookeri and A. davidii constitute one and the same subspecies.

A. hookeri has been introduced, but is not reliably hardy. A specimen at Knights-hayes in Devon, raised from seeds received from Messrs Ghose of Darjeeling in about 1965, was sometimes damaged in winter and was killed by hard frost after a rainy spell in 1979.

† A. sikkimense Miq. – This species was described simultaneously with A. hookeri and resembles it in many respects. Ecologically, it differs in being usually an epiphytic species, growing on the branches of other trees – even of Rhododendron arboreum – and attaining there a height of up to 35 ft. Its leaves are larger than in A. hookeri, more closely toothed, of leathery texture, more shortly stalked, and its racemes are spike-like, owing to the shortness of the flower-stalks.

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