A deciduous tree 30 to 40 ft; branchlets downy at first, soon becoming smooth. Leaves composed of three leaflets borne on a slender common stalk 2 to 4 in. long; leaflets 21⁄2 to 4 in. long, 1 to 11⁄2 in. wide, oval, with a long drawn-out point, wedge-shaped at the base, entire or with a few large teeth; green on both surfaces and downy on the veins, especially beneath. Flowers in slender downy spikes, produced in May before the leaves from the naked joints of the previous year's wood. Fruits red when young, in racemes 6 to 9 in. long, each fruit very short-stalked, glabrous; keys 3⁄4 to 1 in. long; wings divergent at a small angle.
Native of Central China; discovered by Henry, and introduced by Wilson in 1903 for Messrs Veitch. It belongs to the same group as A. nikoense and cissifolium, but differs from them and all other trifoliolate maples in the often entire margins of the leaflets and in the stalkless flowers. At Westonbirt the leaves turn a fine red before falling in autumn. The best tree there, pl. 1914, is 35 × 2 ft. Smaller trees are at: Abbotswood, Glos.; Killerton, Devon; and in the West Hill nursery of Messrs Hillier. In Eire there are examples at Birr Castle, Co. Offaly; Mount Usher, Co. Wicklow; and in the Glasnevin Botanic Garden, Dublin.
A. sutchuenense Franch. – This differs from A. henryi in its glabrous young shoots and more markedly toothed leaflets, and from A. mandschuricum in its more numerously flowered inflorescence and protruding stamens. It was discovered by Père Farges in N.E. Szechwan. Wilson collected specimens, but whether he ever introduced it to cultivation is not certain. The tree figured under the name by Veitch (Journ. R.H.S., Vol. 29, figs. 93 and 96) is said by Rehder to be A. henryi.
From the Supplement (Vol. V)
specimens: Borde Hill, Sussex, 36 × 23⁄4 ft (1974); Westonbirt, Glos., 35 × 2 ft (1975); Emmetts, Ide Hill, Kent, 30 × 21⁄2 ft + 21⁄2 ft (1983); Powis Castle, Powys, 26 × 23⁄4 ft + 21⁄2 ft + 21⁄4 ft (1981).
A. sutchuenense – This species, which is probably not in cultivation, is wrongly placed here, its taxonomic position being in the section Trifoliata, which contains A. nikoense and A. griseum, and not in the section Negundo, to which A. henryi and A. cissifolium belong. The latter section is dioecious and the winter-buds have two opposite outer scales, while in section Trifoliata both sexes are borne on the same tree and the winter-buds have numerous imbricate scales.