This species is considered by van Gelderen et al. (1994) to be synonymous with A. laurinum, but is recognised as distinct by Xu et al. 2008. It forms a tree to 10 m with rough, grey or greyish brown bark. It has glabrous, pinnatinerved leaves with 8–12 pairs of lateral veins, with purplish petioles 2–3.5 cm long, and samaras 2–4 cm long. In comparison, A. laurinum has trinerved leaves with five to six pairs of lateral veins, a pubescent underside, and samaras 4–7 cm long. Xu et al. 2008. Distribution CHINA: southwest Xizang, Yunnan; INDIA; THAILAND. Habitat Mixed forest between 500 and 2400 m asl. USDA Hardiness Zone 9–10. Conservation status Not evaluated. Illustration NT88.
One of the simple-leaved evergreen maples from the warmer parts of Asia, Acer pinnatinervium is potentially a large tree. It is known in cultivation only as a few young plants growing at Tregrehan, from a collection made in Yunnan, but these seem to be doing very well. The relationship to A. laurinum is evident, but this material differs in having reddish stems and petioles and larger leaves. The leaves are handsome, glossy green above, shining white below. As with all this group, it will need a mild, sheltered situation, or to be grown as a potted plant under cover.