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A deciduous tree to 15 m. Bark greyish brown. Branchlets glabrous, purplish red or greenish, turning darker. Buds, ovoid, with four pairs of scales. Leaves pentagonal in outline, base truncate to cuneate, three (-five) lobed, 9–12 × 7–12 cm, lobes broadly ovate to lanceolate, apically acute or acuminate, margins entire except for few appressed teeth in apical parts, upper surface dark green, lower surface paler, glabrous except for tufts in vein axils; petiole 2–3 cm long, green, glabrous, autumn colours yellow. Inflorescence paniculate. Flowers 5-merous, usually dioecious, peduncles 2–3 cm long and slender, sepals and petals ovate, sepals red, petals white, petals as long, or longer than sepals, stamens eight, inserted in the middle of the glabrous nectar disc, ovary pilose. Samaras 2.5 to 3 cm long, wings usually spreading nearly horizontally. Nutlets ovoid. Flowering April, fruiting in October (Xu et al. 2008).
Distribution Myanmar China Northern Guangdong, northern Guangxi, Guizhou, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, southern Shaanxi, easter Sichuan, Xizang, Yunnan, Zhejiang Thailand Vietnam
Habitat Forests, between 900 and 2000 m asl.
USDA Hardiness Zone 7-8
RHS Hardiness Rating H4
Conservation status Least concern (LC)
A deciduous tree probably 30 to 40 ft high; young shoots glabrous, slender, yellowish green. Leaves three-lobed; the lobes ovate, slender-pointed, directed forwards, reaching half-way to the base, mostly entire on adult trees, often more or less toothed on young ones; 2 to 4 in. long, about the same wide; glabrous, bright green above, dull beneath, with minute tufts of whitish down in the veinaxils; stalk 1 to 2 in. long, not milky. Flowers very small, greenish white, appearing with the young leaves in May in drooping panicles 2 to 3 in. long; flower-stalks slender, glabrous. Fruits brownish yellow, the wings spreading horizontally, 1 in. long, 3⁄8 in. wide, nutlet small, egg-shaped.
Native of China; discovered by Henry in Yunnan and again in 1900 by Wilson in Hupeh; introduced by the latter in 1907 when collecting for the Arnold Arboretum, under W. 233. A tree at Kew raised from this batch of seed is now 25 ft high. It grows slowly on chalk in Messrs Hilliers’ nurseries at Winchester and is 15 ft high there. There is a good example at Horsewell House, Kingsbridge, and the species is also represented in the Westonbirt collection. It is far from common, however, but an elegant maple with slender branches and rich green leaves with deep, narrow lobes, attractively tinted when young.
This species is related to A. sinense and to A. campbellii.